[Image from NDTV]
The Samjhauta Express ("Accord" or "Compromise"), the only train connecting India and Pakistan, is torn apart not too far from Delhi, on its way to Lahore, killing 66 people, most burnt beyont recognition. The fire was intense, and the villagers who reached the scene soon after the blasts looked on helplessly. The explosions took place in the general, or unreserved, compartments. I.e. the victims were largely poor.
I saw an afternoon daily's screaming headline "Peace Train Blown Up" earlier at Khan Market, and since then, have been following the news on TV.
Well, this illustrates just how easy it is to blow a train up in India. Given the volume of passenger traffic, trying to set up a secure zone at a railway station is next to impossible.
While it seems that the intent is to derail the peace process, I am not sure how this will effect that. Both countries were clearly targets, and the victims would largely be Muslim. This will, one hopes, only deepen the resolve to continue mend relations.
So, tell me how does one identify a Pakistani from an Indian, or a Hindu from a Muslim, from a lump of charred carbon? At least for now, both nations are united in shock and grief.
I was seriously toying with making a quick trip to Amritsar to visit the Golden Temple and Jallianwalla Bag later this week. I think I'll stick to that plan, and most likely, make it up to the border with Pakistan at Wagah as well.
Please pray for those killed, for their loved ones, for families torn apart, for lives broken. And for peace. For justice. And an end to terrorism.
Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us!