India-Pakistan railroad reopening to become symbol of relations improvement

India and Pakistan will likely reopen a second railroad link by January next year, 40 years after the service was halted during a 1965 war between the two countries, the Indian railway ministry said. The train service between Munabao, a desert town in western India, and Khokrapar, a border town in Pakistan's southern Sindh province, could not be restored earlier because of hostile relations between the South Asian rivals.

The two countries have fought three wars after winning independence from Britain in 1947.

But their relations, often strained by their dispute over the Himalayan region of Kashmir, have improved since 2004, allowing them to reopen several cross-border transportation links, and increasing interaction between people and businesses.

Rail officials from the two sides have held a series of meetings in the past year to restore the Khokrapar-Munabao rail link and hope it becomes operational by January, Indian Railway Board Chairman J.P. Batraan said in a statement Sunday.

Another railroad link between the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore and Amritsar in India is already operational.


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