Around Pakistan in 30 days: A journey of cultural diversity, history begins

The train has a symbol of peace, unity, and freedom, to to mark the 70th Independence Day


Our Correspondent August 11, 2016
The train has a symbol of peace, unity, and freedom, to to mark the 70th Independence Day. PHOTO: PPI

ISLAMABAD: The ‘Azadi Train’ which showcases the diversity of Pakistani culture bravery of its armed forces, chugged off Thursday from the Margalla Station.

The train, a symbol of peace, unity, and freedom, has been expressly prepared through the combined efforts of Pakistan Railways, Ministry of Information and Inter-Services Public Relations to mark the 70th Independence Day.

The special train is also a tribute to and expresses solidarity with all those people who have lost their lives for the country since the inception of the nation to date.

The locomotive’s journey will commence from Peshawar on Friday , then on the night of August 13, it will come back to the Rawalpindi Railway station, after that, it will travel to Lahore, Multan, Sukkur, Larkana, Quetta, Karachi and will end its journey on September 11.

While talking to The Express Tribune, Sara Khan, assistant director of the ‘Azadi Train’ project said, “We have tried to encapsulate the past, present, and future of the country in one train, portraying its history, rich culture, geographical diversities and pluralistic society”.

The decoration of the train took a total of 18 days, Khan added.

Works Manager at Pakistan Railway Abdul Rehman said that six out of 18 coaches of the locomotive have floats projecting the culture of the four provinces as well as Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir. “These floats are a visual illustration of  the historical sites, traditional food, music and dresses of each province”, Rehman added.

Moreover, the other six coaches have galleries exhibiting pictures of the Pakistan movement, achievements and sacrifices of the Armed Forces, China-Pak Economic Corridor projects and history of Pakistan Railways, he said.

According to the Inter – Services Public Relations, the two compartments depict Pakistan army’s contributions in different operations and the many sacrifices made in armed conflicts

Furthermore, the other depictions are comprised of:  life at Siachen glacier, the Pakistan movement for independence, army relief efforts and their pivotal role in returning of internally displaced people, the role of women in armed forces, Nishan-e-Haider and legends of Pakistan, military equipment, missiles and UAVs including the Navy and Air force.

Rehman further added that the total cost incurred in renovating the locomotive was Rs20 million which they had gathered through donations from various organisations.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2016.

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