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Update Pakistan closes Samjhauta Express service, train now at Attari station

[Image: aa-cover-bemabt1n02m2qlob8721uj6fq0-2019...53441.jpeg]

Pakistan has closed the Samjhauta Express train service with India, Federal Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said on Thursday, a day after Islamabad downgraded the diplomatic ties with New Delhi.

The Samjhauta Express was stopped midway at Wagah Border, on Thursday morning, and several passengers were left stranded in the locomotive. The train later reached its destination at around 5 pm.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Rasheed said 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 was quoted as saying by the Geo TV.

The development comes after the Indian government scrapped Article 370 that gave a special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated it into two Union Territories - Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

The Samjhauta Express train service was suspended earlier this year, due to escalating tensions between the two neighbouring countries. However, the service was later resumed.

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 Simla Agreement that settled the 1971 war between the two nations.

On the Indian side, the train runs from Delhi to Attari and from Lahore to Wagah on the Pakistan side.


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