Pakistan suspends Samjhauta Express train service
New Delhi: Pakistani authorities have suspended the Samjhauta Express train service, a decades-old train service between India and Pakistan, amid growing tension between two neighbouring countries following the Pulwama terror attack.
“The operation of Samjhauta Express has been suspended today (Thursday) in view of the prevailing tensions between Pakistan and India,” Pakistan’s foreign office spokesperson said in a statement.
The Samjahuta Express departs from Lahore on Mondays and Thursdays. The bi-weekly train was scheduled to leave Lahore with 16 passengers when the suspension took effect.
From the India side, the Samjhauta Express, however, has departed on time with 27 passengers onboard yesterday. It runs on Wednesdays and Sundays from here.
“The train running from Delhi to Attari in India left at 11:20 pm Wednesday. There are three Pakistanis and 24 Indian nationals aboard the train,” Northern Railway informed.
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.
Tensions have escalated between India and Pakistan in the wake of the Pulwama attack by Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) that killed over 40 CRPF personnel and left several others injured.