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JAMMU

Smiles and greetings continue at Suchetgarh border

The Suchetgarh border, 35 kms from here, has become a favorite spot where a large number of tourists and pilgrims from different parts of the country flock to click pictures.
Yogesh Sagotra
Jammu | Posted : Dec 7 2018 2:39AM | Updated: Dec 7 2018 1:48AM
Smiles and greetings continue at Suchetgarh border
Representational pic

Despite the hostile relationship between India and Pakistan, a unique display of peace and harmony is often witnessed at the Suchetgarh border meeting point (BMP) here, where people of the two countries greet each other with smiles.

The Suchetgarh border, 35 kms from here, has become a favorite spot where a large number of tourists and pilgrims from different parts of the country flock to click pictures.

“Every day, around 400-500 visitors including tourists and pilgrims from other states turn up at Suchetgarh and visit the border meeting point (BMP) where people from the other side (Pakistan) also throng, though in numbers less than those from this side,” a Border Security Force man, deployed on the Indian Octroi post to manage the BMP told Greater Kashmir.

“People mostly take pictures with milestones displaying distance of Sailkot and Lahore from the BPM and the tri-colored gate,” he said, adding that if the people from Pakistan cross over to this side “it will be a treat for the visitors.”

During the winter season, people from Kashmir, who stay in the winter capital, also visit the spot in large numbers and enjoy the sight of “peaceful border tourism”.

Though people of both counties are not allowed to interact for longer durations, even the exchange of greetings brings smiles on their faces.

“My visit to BMP was a great experience. We saw a group of people coming from Pakistan. They waved at us and we reciprocated. We smiled at each other but were barred by the authorities to interact much,” said Anupam Mishra from Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.

He said both countries need to establish more such points to make relations between the two sides better.

“The opening of Kartarpur corridor is a great milestone in peace-building. The animosities are there on the political level, not the people’s level. We need more such points to reduce the sense of enmity,” said Tilik Raj, a visitor from Punjab.

“The borders are not so approachable and peaceful in Kashmir region. Whenever we visit Jammu, we visit this place to have a feel of the boundary which divides the two neighbouring countries,” said Showkat Wani, who works in the J&K civil secretariat and had come here along with his family.

Recently, secretary Tourism Rigzin Samphel told Greater Kashmir that the state government is tapping the potential of border tourism in Jammu.

“There is immense scope of border tourism in Jammu and Kashmir and to promote same in Jammu region, we plan to develop the India-Pakistan Suchetgarh border on the lines of Punjab’s famed Attari-Wagah border,” he said.

“In Ranbir Singh Pura area of Jammu we have Suchetgarh while the other side has Sailkot, just few kilometers away. We have a big project in mind, and in coming days, this will become a huge attraction for tourists coming to Jammu,” Samphel said.

Historically, Sailkot has been an important town for Jammu. Before 1947, Jammu was largely dependent on Sialkot for trade via 43-km broad gauge railway line.

The journey time between Sialkot and Jammu (tawi) is 90 minutes on an average. Many organisations argued that the route should be re-opened for trade between India and Pakistan but there has been no headway from either of the sides as of now.

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