Amid hostilities, Pakistan suspends Samjhauta Express, passengers stranded in Lahore
As tensions between India and Pakistan are escalating, the neighboring country suspended cross-border Samjhauta Express on Thursday leaving passengers traveling to Attari from Lahore in a fix. The train was supposed to depart to Attari at 8 AM this morning. According to Pakistan's Geo TV, Additional General Manager Pakistan Railways said the decision was taken to prevent any untoward incident. Here's more.
While Pakistan stopped the services, India didn't. The train left from New Delhi as per schedule on Wednesday. But it is currently waiting in Attari at customs point. About the train's journey, Northern Railways said, "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."
The train was started on July 22, 1976, after Shimla Agreement settled the 1971 war between India and Pakistan. It has six sleeper coaches and one AC 3-tier coach. Now that Pakistan has stopped the services, the passengers are most likely to return home to Wagah via buses. Notably, on Wednesday, Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal said they haven't received orders to suspend services.
"We have not yet received any instructions from authorities so far as running of Samjhauta Express is concerned. It will run as planned as per the schedule," Goyal said in a press briefing last evening.
Tensions between India and Pakistan reached a new height after Pulwama attack, for which Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility. India asked the neighboring country to act against the homegrown terror, and when it failed IAF breached airspace to demolish Jaish's biggest camp before dawn on Tuesday. Subsequently, PAF jets tried to enter Indian airspace and air combat followed. Pakistan managed to arrest one IAF pilot.