Amritsar, Oct.13 : For the last few days, the media in India and Pakistan have been reporting various statements issued by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Zardari which emphasise confidence building steps.
But the Punjabi Durbar programme of Pakistan Radio has been busy broadcasting that India is not interested in building cordial relations and has stopped the Samjhauta Express train service that operates between the two countries.
The latest broadcast has come as a surprise to most of the local residents. They are aware that more points are being opened to encourage border trade between the two countries and the Samjhauta Express is regularly plying between the two countries.
Dr. Manmohan Singh has been enthusiastic in his statements that steps are being taken to build friendly relations with Pakistan.
Bhupinder Singh Sandhu, President of the Aalmi Punjabi Virasat foundation, feels that the Pakistan Radio is continuing with its misleading broadcasts. He says: "People of the two countries want to meet, celebrate their festivals with each other but the certain regulations and issues at the government-level don't allow them to do so."
Local residents say that the Samjhauta express is not just a train but it's a bridge between the people across the border. It helps in bringing them together to celebrate their festivals and share their happiness.
"People here are eager to meet with each other since they have relatives living across the border, plus their language and traditions are same. Seeing all this, the Indian government decided to operate train also from Karachi to Gujarat along with Samjhuata Express. Along with the trains, there are two bus services also operational from India," Sandhu added.
"There could be some specific agendas and policies of governments but people want peace and love. During the time, when border was at peace, buses from India and Indian NGOs played a key role to establish good relations between the two nations," said Bhupinder Singh Sandhu.
Sandhu expressed surprise over the radio programmes. The presenters, during their meeting with Indians appear very gentle and talk in a brotherly manner.
"But the same announcers on TV and radio spew venom against India. They should not spread hatred and disharmony among people," Sandhu added.
Perhaps Sandhu is not aware that the presenters have little discretion about the content of the programmes.