MEA Condemns Pakistan's 'Unilateral Decision' to Suspend Samjhauta, Thar Express
MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar. (Photo Credits: ANI | Twitter)

New Delhi, August 9: The Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Friday issued a statement condemning Pakistan's decision to suspend Samjhauta Express and Thar Express -- the only two cross-border trains plying between the two neighbours. The decision would further deteriorate ties between the two nations, the Ministry said.

Calling the move "unilateral", MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the regressive measures being taken by Islamabad is an attempt to paint an alarming situation following abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir. Thar Express Services Stopped by Pakistan Day After Suspension of Samjhauta Express Over Article 370 Row

"Actions taken by Pakistan unilateral. This has been done without consulting us. We've urged them to reconsider their decision. Our sense is that whatever is being done by Pakistan is to present an alarming picture of bilateral relationship," Kumar said.

Notably, Pakistan Railway Minister Sheikh Rasheed had on Thursday announced the suspension of Samjhauta Express after abruptly ordering the train to be stopped at Wagah border.

"We have decided to stop the train services in response to India's unilateral action taken against the people of Jammu & Kashmir," he had said. On Friday, his Ministry announced the suspension of Thar Express as well.

The move came days after Pakistan said it would be degrading ties with India as it had "not consulted any of the stakeholders" before revoking J&K special status by abrogating Article 370.

MEA has expressed hope that Pakistan would consider to the rollback its decision to "downgrade" bilateral ties. On being asked whether the India High Commissioner in Islamabad would be returning soon, the spokesperson replied, "He is not in Delhi. We have requested Pakistan for review of their decision. The timing of his return will be determined later."