New Delhi: The Indian Railways has suspended operations of the India-Pakistan Samjhauta Express on its side from March 3 in the wake of a drastic decline in occupancy, especially since the Pulwama terror attack. Also Read - China Pakistan Economic Corridor: Where CPEC Stands Now?
“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 told PTI. Also Read - Pakistan Court Sends 3 Accused To Jail in Forced Conversion Case
According to sources, at least 40 passengers from both countries are believed to be stranded at Attari. Also Read - Suspected Militants Lob Grenade at CRPF Party In Srinagar’s Rainawari Area, No Casualty Reported
Pakistan had on Wednesday cancelled the train’s trip on the Wagah-Lahore stretch on its side, even as 27 passengers _ 23 Indians and three from the neighbouring country _ arrived at Attari from Delhi on an Indian rake which left the Old Delhi Railway station at 11.20 PM Wednesday night.
The biweekly train was scheduled to depart from Lahore with 16 passengers. “Samjhauta Express will resume its operations as soon as the security situation improves between India and Pakistan,” the Pakistan Foreign Office said, not giving any specific date for resuming the services.
Earlier on Wednesday, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said, “We have not received any instructions from authorities about any change in the running of the Samjhauta Express. We will follow all instructions given to us in this regard.”
The Samjhauta Express, named after the Hindi word for “agreement”, comprises six sleeper coaches and an AC 3-tier coach. The train service was started on July 22, 1976, under the Shimla Agreement that settled the 1971 war between the two nations.
(With agency inputs)