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1-min read

India Cancels Samjhauta Express Days after Pakistan Suspends Train Services on Its Side

The railways run the train on Sundays from Delhi to Attari and back, while Pakistan used to run it between Lahore and Attari where passengers would change trains.

News18.com

Updated:August 12, 2019, 12:04 PM IST
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India Cancels Samjhauta Express Days after Pakistan Suspends Train Services on Its Side
File photo of Samjhauta Express (PTI)
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New Delhi: The Indian Railways announced on Sunday that it has cancelled the Samjhauta Express train run at its end of the international border, days after Pakistan suspended services on its side.

The railways run the train on Sundays from Delhi to Attari and back, while Pakistan used to run it between Lahore and Attari where passengers would change trains.

"In consequent to Pakistan's decision to cancel Samjahuta Express 14607/14608 running between Lahore and Atari, the link express train number 14001/14002 running between Delhi and Attari also stands cancelled," said Northern Railway Chief Public Relations Officer Deepak Kumar in a statement.

Two passengers had booked tickets for Sunday's service, officials said.

Pakistan suspended the Samjhauta Express and the Thar Express trains amid tensions with India after the government revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and divided the state into two Union Territories.

Pakistan had stopped the Samjhauta Express at the Wagah border on Thursday morning, citing security concerns. The train had reached Delhi early on Friday morning, four and a half hours behind schedule.

Leading the charge of downgrading ties with India, the Pakistani crew at the Wagah border had suspended the services of and refused to go any further with the train. An Indian crew was sent from Amritsar, which brought the train back.

Hundreds of passengers were stuck as a result and the move came as Pakistan Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed announced the decision to suspend the train service. "Till I am Railways minister, the Samjhauta Express train service will not operate," he had said.

Pakistan had also expelled Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria over what it called New Delhi's "unilateral and illegal" move to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Samjhauta Express train service was suspended earlier this year after escalating tensions between the two neighbouring countries. The service was later resumed.

The Samjhauta Express, named after the Hindi word for "agreement", comprises six sleeper coaches and an AC three-tier coach. The service was started on July 22, 1976, under the Simla Agreement that settled the 1971 war between the two nations. On the Indian side, the train runs from Delhi to Attari and from Lahore to Wagah on the Pakistan side.

(With inputs from PTI)

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| Edited by: Moonmoon Ghosh
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