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Passengers Stranded in Lahore as Pakistan Suspends Samjhauta Express; Train from India Reaches Attari

The Samjhauta Express took off as scheduled on Wednesday night from New Delhi, but is currently at the customs point at Attari which is the last Indian railway station, since Pakistan suspended its services at its end.


Updated:February 28, 2019, 2:19 PM IST

Lahore: Passengers travelling to Attari are stranded at the Lahore railway station after Pakistani authorities suspended the Samjhauta Express train service between Pakistan and India on Thursday.

In the backdrop of escalating tensions between the neighbours, Pakistan has suspended the biweekly train service until further notice, DawnNewsTV reported on Thursday citing railway authorities.

Samjhauta Express took off as scheduled on Wednesday night from New Delhi, but is currently at the customs point at Attari since Pakistan suspended its services at its end.

Officials in India said on Thursday that the situation is being closely monitored and the passengers can be brought back to Wagah by buses and other modes of transportation.

Pakistan’s suspension means the train cannot cross Attari, which is the last Indian railway station, and enter the country.

The Samjhauta Express was scheduled to depart from Lahore with 16 passengers. The passengers had embarked on their journey from Karachi but the passengers are stuck at Lahore railway station, Pakistani media said.

The Samjhauta Express, named after the Hindi word for "agreement", comprises six sleeper coaches and an AC 3-tier coach. The train service was started on July 22, 1976 under the Shimla Agreement that settled the 1971 war between the two nations.

In the wake of the Pulwama terror attack by the Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), tensions have escalated between India and Pakistan.

India carried out air strikes against the biggest training camp of JeM in Balakot. In the operation, a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis who were being trained for suicide attacks were eliminated, as Goverment of India said. The facility at Balakot was headed by Yousuf Azhar, the brother-in-law of the JeM chief.

At least 40 CRPF personnel were killed and many injured on February 14 in one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir when a JeM suicide bomber rammed a vehicle carrying over 100 kg of explosives into their bus in Pulwama district.

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| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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