Pakistan ‘Permanently Discontinues’ Samjhauta Express; No Formal Word Received, Says India

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The Samjhauta Express ran twice a week from Lahore to Attari via the Wagah railway station. — IANS file photo

ISLAMABAD (IANS) — Pakistan on Thursday announced that it is permanently discontinuing the Samjhauta Express train service with India following New Delhi’s revocation of special status for Jammu and Kashmir.

The decision was announced by Pakistan’s Railway Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed at a press conference.

He said that the bogies of the Samjhauta Express will now be used for passengers travelling on the occasion of Eid. “This will increase the capacity of Eid trains and more people will be able to travel in them.”

The Samjhauta Express ran twice a week from Lahore to Attari via the Wagah railway station.

People who have bought tickets for the Samjhauta Express will be reimbursed. “You can collect the payment from Lahore’s divisional superintendent office,” said the Minister.

“We don’t want war but we can’t sit quietly over Indian atrocities in Kashmir… Srinagar is not Jerusalem,” he added.

The train service was suspended earlier this year after military tensions escalated between the two neighbours following the Pulwama attack and Balakot strike.

No formal word

Meanwhile, the Northern Railway official on Thursday said that Pakistani authorities have not given any formal communication about the discontinuation of the train. He also said that earlier on Thursday, Pakistani 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.

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.

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