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India stops operations of Samjhauta Express

Stranded Indian passengers sit at the waiting area at Lahore railway station on February 28, 2019, as Pakistani authorities suspended the Express train service.  

Indian Railways has decided to cancel operations of the Indo-Pak Samjhauta Express due to drastic decline in occupancy, especially after the Pulwama terror attack, and the suspension of services from across the border, sources said.

No date of resumption of services has been fixed, they added.

The Railway Board cancelled all operations of the Attari Special Express, Delhi-Attari-Delhi, which together with the Wagah-Lahore link is known as the Samjhauta or Friendship Express, from the train’s next scheduled run on Sunday, the sources said.

Pakistan has already suspended services, officials said, amidst strain in ties in the aftermath of the February 14 terror attack in Pulwama and India’s subsequent air strikes on Balakot.

“With no passengers from Pakistan, it makes no sense to run it on our end. Hopefully we will be able to resume services once the tension de-escalates,” a source said.

Passengers stranded

However, at least 40 passengers from both countries are believed to be stranded at Attari, the sources said.

On Wednesday, Pakistan had cancelled the train’s trip on the Wagah-Lahore stretch, even as 27 passengers — 24 Indians and three from Pakistan arrived at Attari at 7 a.m on Thursday. The train had left the Old Delhi Railway station at 11:20 p.m. on Wednesday night.

On Thursday, the Wagah station master sent a message to his Attari counterpart that the passenger and parcel train which comes to Attari station from the Pakistan side at 12.30 p.m. will not be coming till further notice, officials said.


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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 1:59:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-stops-operations-of-samjhauta-express/article26399507.ece

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