New Delhi: The Indian Railways on Sunday cancelled Samjhauta Link Express train running between Delhi and Atari, days after Pakistan announced suspension of its (Samjhauta Express) services on its side. The railways run the train twice a week from Lahore to Attari via the Wagah railway station.

“In consequent to Pakistan’s decision to cancel Samjahuta Express 14607/14608 running between Lahore and Atari, the link express train number 14001/14002 running between Delhi and Attari also stands cancelled,” said Northern Railway Chief Public Relations Officer Deepak Kumar in a statement. Officials said that two passengers had booked tickets for Sunday’s service.

Notably, the train from both Lahore and Delhi goes to Attari where Delhi-bound passengers coming from Lahore get on to an Indian train. Similarly, Lahore-bound passengers board the Pakistani train that goes back to Wagah and then on to Lahore.

Earlier, Pakistan had announced that it is permanently discontinuing the Samjhauta and Thar Express train services with India following Narendra Modi-led government’s decision to abrogate Article 370 of Indian Constitution (Which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir).

According to reports, Pakistan’s railway minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad said at a press conference in Islamabad that the bogies of the Samjhauta Express will now be used for passengers travelling on the occasion of Eid. “Till I am Railways minister, Samjhauta Express train service will not operate,” he reportedly said.

On Thursday, the Samjhauta Express from Lahore did not reach Attari but remained at Wagah as Islamabad had stopped the train on its side, citing security concerns. The train, with 110 passengers on board, arrived in the national capital on Friday at 8.05 AM. It was late by over four and a half hours. In February, the train was suspended after military tensions escalated between Indian and Pakistan following the Pulwama terror attack and Balakot strike.

On August 5, India revoked Article 370 to withdraw the special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the region into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

In reaction to India’s move, Pakistan had last week downgraded diplomatic ties with India by expelling Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria and announced that it would also suspend trade relations with New Delhi.

Trade relations between the two neighbours were already strained following the Pulwama terror attack as India imposed 200 percent customs duty on all goods imported from the neighbouring nation.

Imports from Pakistan declined by 92 per cent to USD 2.84 million in March this year compared to USD 34.61 million in March 2018, according to the commerce ministry data. During January-March period of 2018-19 fiscal, imports from Pakistan declined by 47 per cent to USD 53.65 million.