Pakistan stops Samjhauta Express, Indian crew bring passengers from Wagah border

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Pakistan on Thursday stopped the Samjhauta Express at the Wagah border amidst growing tension between India and its neighbouring country on the revocation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. Passengers are left stranded at the border, reported news agency PTI. Hours later, India had to send its crew to the Pakistani side to bring the passengers back to India.

Samjhauta Express
File photo

“When we received the information from the Pakistani authorities at around 2:14 pm, we assured them that there are no security concerns and that the train should come here. However, we also told them that if necessary an Indian crew and guard will escort the train to Attari,” a senior railway official was quoted by news agency PTI.

News agency ANI quoted Pakistani Railway Minister Sheikh Rashid as saying, “In a decision by the Railways Ministry, Samjhauta Express services have been permanently stopped. It used to ply twice a week. The people who had already purchased their tickets can get their money reimbursed from Lahore DS office.”

According to Indian railways, as reported by the DNA website, India will send its crew if Pakistan did not send the train to India. The train had departed Lahore at 9:30 am IST with more than 60 people on board.

Pakistan’s decision to suspend Samjhauta Express came a day after it expelled the Indian high commission in Islamabad and downgraded diplomatic ties with India. Pakistan also closed one of its air corridors for the Indian planes flying to the US, Europe and the Middle East. Pakistan has also said that it will raise the Indian government’s recent decisions on Jammu and Kashmir in the OIC and the United Nations.

Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to address the nation at 8 pm on Thursday night. This is the first time he will be making a public speech on the abrogation of Article 370 on Jammu and Kashmir on Monday.

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