General News

India Halts Samjhauta Express After Pakistan Suspends Operations On Its Side

Written By Digital Desk | Mumbai | Published:

Hack:

  • The railways run the train on Sundays from Delhi to Attari and back, while Pakistan used to run the train between Lahore and Attari.
  • The Samjhauta Express is the four-decades-old train service between India and Pakistan. 

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 the train between Lahore and Attari. Passengers used to change trains at the Attari station.

"Inconsequent to Pakistan's decision to cancel samjhaouta exp  14607/14608 running between Lahore and Atari .......the link exp train number 14001/14002 running between Delhi and Atari also stands cancelled (sic)," said Deepak Kumar, Chief Public Relations Officer of Northern Railway.

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

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Pakistan suspended the Samjhauta Express and the Thar Express trains amid tensions between the two neighbouring countries after the government revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and divided the state into two Union territories.

The Samjhauta Express is the four-decades-old train service between India and Pakistan. The move by Islamabad comes in the aftermath of the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35 (A) by the BJP-led Central government that provided special rights and status to Jammu and Kashmir.

The Samjhauta Express, commonly called the Friendship Express, is a bi-weekly train--Thursday and Monday--that runs between Delhi and Attari in India and Lahore in Pakistan since 1976 after the Shimla Accord between the two countries.  The word Samjhauta means "agreement", "accord" and "compromise" in both Hindi and Urdu.

It was a daily train when the service started and changed to a bi-weekly schedule in 1994. The border crossing takes place between Wagah in Pakistan and Attari in India.
Meanwhile, calling its steps in Jammu and Kashmir as an "entirely internal affair", India on Thursday rejected Pakistan's unilateral move to downgrade diplomatic ties and asked Islamabad to review them so that normal channels for diplomatic communications are preserved. 

On Thursday, after a meeting of the National Security Council chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, Pakistan decided to downgrade diplomatic ties. It asked India to withdraw its High Commissioner to Pakistan and also decided not to send its High Commissioner-designate to New Delhi. It also partially shut off its airspace and suspended bilateral trade with India.

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(With agency inputs) 

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