Attari, August 8: After Pakistan suspended the Samjhauta Express following India's revocation of special status for Jammu and Kashmir, authorities in India on Thursday sent an engine to bring the train which halted at the Wagah border. As many as 110 passengers are in the Samjhauta Express train who are stranded as Pakistani train driver and crew refused to enter India.
"Services haven't stopped. Pakistan's driver and the guard refused to come to India. So they sent us a message to send engine with Indian crew and guard. They'll go with the engine and bring the train," station master at Attari railway station told news agency ANI. Deepak Kumar, a spokesperson of Northern Railways, said Pakistan expressed concern over the safety of its crew. Pakistan Suspends Samjhauta Express Services After Article 370 Abrogation From Jammu and Kashmir, But Says Work on Kartarpur Sahib Corridor Will Continue.
"Pakistan authorities had raised issues regarding security of the train's crew and guard. We have told them that situation this side is perfectly normal," Kumar said. He also said the services are not completely suspended. "70 passengers are waiting here who will travel to Pakistan. So to say that the train has been cancelled is not right," he added. MEA Responds to Pakistan's 'Downgrading' of Bilateral Ties With India Over Article 370 Row, Says Move 'Not Surprising'.
Indian Train Engine For Samjhauta Express leaves From Attari Railway Station:
Punjab:Train engine for Samjhauta Express leaves from Attari railway station,for Pak. Station Master says "Services haven't stopped. Pak's driver&guard refused to come to India. So they sent us message to send engine with Indian crew&guard. They'll go with engine&bring the train" pic.twitter.com/L655YLrMaU
— ANI (@ANI) August 8, 2019
Earlier today, Pakistan's Railway Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed announced that the government is permanently discontinuing the Samjhauta Express train service with India. He said that the bogies of the Samjhauta Express will now be used for passengers travelling on the occasion of Eid. The Samjhauta Express ran twice a week from Lahore to Attari via the Wagah railway station.
People who have bought tickets for the Samjhauta Express will be reimbursed. "You can collect the payment from Lahore's divisional superintendent office," said the Minister. "We don't want war but we can't sit quietly over Indian atrocities in Kashmir... Srinagar is not Jerusalem," he added.
The Samjhauta Express train service was suspended earlier this year after military tensions escalated between the two neighbours following the Pulwama attack and Balakot strike.