In fact, the border was closed after 1971 Indo-Pak war despite the fact that Ferozepur is the nearest to the border and had requisite infrastructure to facilitate the trans-border trade but it had never been a priority for the Centre or State except speaking on the dais to allure the people especially during the election days.
Since Fazilka was also a part of Ferozepur District earlier, the leaders have to speak for opening of both the borders - Hussainiwala in Ferozepur and Suleman in Fazilka when the Wagah Border in Amritsar, is already functioning for trade and immigration purposes.
On one occasion, Parminder Singh Pinki, Congress MLA from Ferozepur had said that he was not against the opening of the Fazilka border but the Deputy Chief Minister should not extend a step-motherly treatment to the people of Ferozepur by asking the Union Government to open the Fazilka border only.
In the past also on number of occasions, it has been raised several times in the parliament but to no avail. The people of Malwa community has been anxious for the re-opening of the trade route as they feel that further delay will severely affect their business besides affecting the future of the lakhs of people in the border belt of Punjab.
Presently, most of the trade that is taking place between Punjab and Pakistan is through Mumbai or Dubai, which increased the cost considerably. Perishable goods like vegetables cannot be shipped. Besides onion and potato, there is a great demand for green chilies, ginger and other such commodities in Pakistan, which can safely be sent through the Husssainiwala border.
Prior to the closing of border, there used to be hustle-bustle on both the sides of India and Pakistan rather a gaiety and festival like atmosphere. The opening of the route would definitely bring prosperity in the city near the borders.
Now when the election days are in its peak, the visit of leaders have again started assuring the opening of Hussainiwala border with a condition, if re-elected. In other words, seeking vote on false promises.
Recently, Anand Sharma, Union Minister who had come to Guruharsahai to attend rally in support of Sunil Kumar Jakhar Congress candidate for MP elections from Ferozepur constituency have said, the spade work to revive the vital trade link between the two neighbouring countries has been done. Once opened, the link would bring a lot of business to the region.
During his visit, he counted the UPA-II achievements for giving credit of increasing trade with Pakistan through the setting of the Integrated Check Post (IPC) in Amritsar.
Since he was seeking vote for Congress, he categorically mentioned that there is little possibility of the link being reopened if the BJP comes to power.
Even the SAD-BJP candidate Sher Singh Ghubaya and AAP candidate Satnam Pal Kamboj are claiming for opening of the border. What to say, even the former BJP MLA Sukhpal Singh Nann had been harping on this issue.
One thing is certain that the opening of this border will open the floodgates of prosperity for lakhs of people of the Malwa belt with the increase of prices of landed property and employment on setting-up of transit cold-storages for import of perishable items.
The older timers still say, 'Jiney Lahore nahi vekhiya, ohne zindgi vich kujh nahi vekhiya' ? The persons who has not seen Lahore, has seen nothing in his life, and it looks to be a dream for the young generation to see the opening of Hussnainiwala border to visit Lahore in Pakistan by crossing the border.
I started from, you name any political leader who has not talked or assured about the opening of the border but speak frankly that it is not a decisive issue of the level of local politicians but has to be decided at the Centre level keeping in view all the aspects of security of the nation depending upon the relations between the two countries.
The famous idiom "Pancha da keha sar mathe te, paranala othe da othe" - Respect what people say but have our own way - befits well in the case of non-opening of Hussainiwala.
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