New Delhi: Samjhauta Express train is currently at the customs in Attari, government sources claimed on Thursday, a few hours after media reports emerged that Pakistani authorities have suspended the Samjhauta Express train service between Pakistan and India until further notice, amidst tense bilateral ties in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack. (Live updates on India-Pakistan standoff) Also Read - China Pakistan Economic Corridor: Where CPEC Stands Now?
The government sources revealed that the Samjhauta Express took off as per schedule on Wednesday night from New Delhi. However, it is stranded in Attari and the passengers are being taken to Wagah by buses. Also Read - Pakistan Court Sends 3 Accused To Jail in Forced Conversion Case
On the Pakistan side, the train embarked on its journey from Karachi but the 16 passengers on board are stuck at Lahore railway station. The train departs on Monday and Thursday from Lahore. Also Read - Suspected Militants Lob Grenade at CRPF Party In Srinagar’s Rainawari Area, No Casualty Reported
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.
Pakistan authorities suspended the services of Samjhauta Express train in the wake of escalating tensions with India, in the wake of Pulwama terror attack, in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans were killed on February 14 in Jammu and Kashmir as an explosive-laden vehicle rammed into a bus of the convoy, 30 km prior to their destination. The responsibility of the attack was claimed by Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).
To avenge the dastardly Pulwama attack, India carried out ‘pre-emptive’ strike on JeM terror camps in Pakistan on Tuesday, killing nearly 300 militants. Meanwhile, three Pakistani jets violated Indian airspace in Poonch and Nowshera sectors of Jammu and Kashmir however, they were forced back by the Indian Air Force (IAF). In retaliatory firing, the IAF shot down a Paksitani jet. An IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan went ‘missing in action’ as the force retaliated to the violation of airspace by Pakistan. The MEA acknowledged that he has been captured by Pakistan after an air combat.