Samjhota Express operations suspended: FO

Published February 28, 2019
A stranded Indian passenger travelling with the Samjhota Express, also called the Friendship Express, that runs between Delhi and Attari, sits at the waiting area at Lahore railway station on February 28. ─ AFP
A stranded Indian passenger travelling with the Samjhota Express, also called the Friendship Express, that runs between Delhi and Attari, sits at the waiting area at Lahore railway station on February 28. ─ AFP
Policemen stand guard at Lahore railway station on February 28. ─ AFP
Policemen stand guard at Lahore railway station on February 28. ─ AFP

In light of the ongoing tensions between Pakistan and India, operations of the Samjhota Express have been suspended temporarily, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Thursday.

A press statement by the Foreign Office (FO) said that the operations will resume "as soon as the security situation improves between India and Pakistan".

The Samjhota Express runs twice a week (Monday and Thursday) from Lahore to Attari via the Wagah railway station. Yesterday, the Pakistan Railways had said that the train would depart for Attari at 8am as usual.

Times of India reported in the evening that India had suspended the running of the train from its end due to a decline in occupancy. No date has been announced for resumption of services as yet.

Security arrangements across Pakistan have been tightened in light of tensions between the two neighbouring countries. Flight operations were suspended when Pakistani airspace was closed to commercial flights on Wednesday.

Tensions between the neighbouring countries escalated after an Indian aircraft violated Pakistan's airspace on Tuesday. The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) had "immediately scrambled" and the Indian plane went back. Yesterday, the PAF undertook strikes across the Line of Control from Pakistani airspace, following which two Indian aircrafts violated the LoC again and were shot down by the PAF.

The civil and military leadership of Pakistan has urged India to deescalate tensions while emphasising its right to respond to Indian aggression.

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