The reopening of the railway section connecting Balochistan’s Sibi and Harnai districts in October of the previous year, after a 17-year closure, was celebrated by the local population as a significant stride towards prosperity. The Sabi-Harnai railway track had been shut down in August 2006 due to terrorist activities.
During the prolonged closure, the local populace experienced social, economic, and logistical challenges, impacting religious festivals, cultural events, and overall communication. Harnai residents, in particular, had to traverse six districts to reach Sabi, incurring both financial and time costs.
Sibi and the surrounding districts lost fresh agricultural produce from Harnai as a result of the shutdown, which also interfered with the train transit of coal from Harnai to other towns in Pakistan.
In efforts to restore the Sabi-Harnai railway track, sporadic attempts were made over the years, but substantial progress was achieved in 2023. The Pakistan Army and FC Balochistan (North) played a crucial role in reestablishing peace through operations against terrorists in Sibi, Sangan, Harnai, and adjacent regions.
Taking charge of security responsibilities, the Pakistan Army and FC Balochistan (North) facilitated the completion of train maintenance within a short timeframe.
The local communities of Sabi and Harnai greeted the train’s restoration with enthusiasm, recognizing it as a positive catalyst for regional prosperity, economic development, and improved travel convenience.
Sardar Ibrahim Khan of Sabi highlighted the vibrant trade that thrived before 2006 and lamented the damage caused by terrorists to the region. Santosh Kumar, a member of the Hindu community in Sabi, expressed joy at the reconnection with Harnai and commended the efforts of security agencies and the railway administration.
Transporter Malik Muzaffar Tareen from Harnai echoed the sentiment of happiness, emphasizing the positive impact on employment and regional prosperity. Residents, such as Babar Kuch, expressed gratitude to the Pakistan Army and FC for ensuring the train’s operation, foreseeing accelerated economic growth and social development with the resumption of coal and agricultural commodity transportation on the Sabi-Harnai railway track, safeguarded by the security forces.