‘No Formal Communication By Pak Over Discontinuing Samjhauta Express’
New Delhi: After Pakistan announced it was “permanently discontinuing” the Samjhauta Express and the train with 110 passengers was stranded at its Wagah station, the Indian Railways brought the train to Attari in India after sending its locomotive and crew to the other side.
Northern Railway spokesperson Deepak Kumar told IANS: “An engine with the loco-pilot and other crew members were sent to Wagah border. The train left from Wagah (Pakistan) border after the security and custom clearance from the local authorities there and arrived at the Attari station at 5.15 p.m.”
Earlier in the day, the Northern Railway official said that Pakistani authorities have not given any formal communication about the discontinuation of the train. He also said that earlier on Thursday, akistani authorities raised some concerns with regard to the security of their crew members on the Samjhuata Express.
“We have told them that the situation is normal on the Indian side,” Kumar said.
Kumar said there were 110 passengers coming to India from Pakistan on the train, while around 70 passengers were waiting to go to Pakistan. The bi-weekly train runs between both countries on Mondays and Thursdays. It links Lahore with Attari in India’s Punjab.
Pakistan had on Thursday announced it was permanently discontinuing the Samjhauta Express train service with India following New Delhi’s revocation of special status for Jammu and Kashmir. The move came a day after it expelled the Indian envoy in Islamabad, announced suspension of bilateral trade, among other measures in retaliation for India revoking Article 370 over Jammu and Kashmir.
The Samjhauta Express service was also suspended earlier this year after military tensions escalated between the two neighbours following the Pulwama attack and the Balakot air strike by the Indian Air Force.