Lahore! Lahore! - Opening of Hussainiwala Border – a fast fading dream
HARISH DIDO | 18 Sep 2014

After 1947, when there was partition of India and Pakistan, the octogenarians of border town Ferozepur, still shares when in a mood of their old memories - "Lahore! Lahore! the cry of the conductor, beckoning people to hop on for a ride to the pre-partition capital city to see a movie or attend college.

Come elections and the opening of Hussainiwala border comes as top of the agenda after 1971 when the trading stopped and certain families attached with the import and export business shifted from the city.

The older timers when talk about the Lahore with specific quote of - "Jinhe Lahore nahi dekheya, ao jamaya hi nahi" - the curiosity to visit Lahore is refreshed but looks like a dream now against the pledges of the politicians.

Though it seemed a possibility the border will open as people on both the sides of the international border are waiting for the day to come when a few years back Pakistan Kasur MP Manzoor Ahmed making an open appeal to politicians this side of the fence to take up the issue with the Indian authorities, promising he was doing the same in Pakistan.

Manzoor and other politicians in Pakistan even succeeded in getting the 74-km stretch from Ganda Singh Wala across the border to Lahore double-laned. Even with the four-lane under constructions on India side from Hussainiwala to Chandigarh, though at a slow pace, has also sparked a hope among the people that one day the border will open.

In the past, it has been seen that every political party has been making tall claims but each time, when both the countries come closer, either there is ceasefire violation or heightened tension between the two countries and nozzle of their guns are opened. Then came the bitterness in Indo-Pak ties and hopes of an early opening eclipsed.

In fact, peace between India-Pakistan is one of the prime concerns of the border residents, when they cast their vote in Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, once in every five years.

Name any politician, who had not assured the opening of Hussainiwala border or kept its main agenda to allure the voters of border towns – Capt. Amrinder Singh, Parkash Singh Badal, Sajjan Kumar Jakhar, Parminder Singh Pinki, Sher Singh Ghubaya, Sukhpal Singh Nannu, Jagmit Singh Brar and various visiting dignitaries from the Centre. But each time the border opening chances looked to be bright.

However, there was a ray of hope that Hussainiwala too will be opened for trade purposes, with the recent survey by Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations visited Ferozepur sometime back to have consultations with the stakeholders on 'Enhancing India-Pakistan Trade".

In the present scenario, it looks to be dream to enjoy the round of Anarkali Bazar, a stroll at Jahangir's mausoleum.  Those who have seen Lahore and lived in Pakistan before partition of India in 1947, still wish for their future generations to get a chance to see it, to establish their birth to prove the often-repeated couplet - "Jinehe Lahore nahi dekheya, ao jamaya hi nahi".

Frankly speaking, only the sincere political intentions of both the countries, could full this dream of visiting Lahore and to bring prosperity to the border towns with the opening of Hussainiwala border by making it a trading hub.