You are here: Home » Current Affairs » News » National
Business Standard

After downgrading diplomatic ties, Pak suspends Samjhauta Express service

Pakistan's latest move comes a day after it expelled Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Samjhauta Express

Pakistan has suspended the train service with India, Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed announced on Thursday, a day after Islamabad downgraded the diplomatic ties with New Delhi.

"We have decided to suspend the Samjhuta train service," Rasheed said while addressing a press conference here.

"Till I am Railways minister, train service will not operate," he said, adding that the bogies of the train will now be used for passengers travelling on the occasion of Eid.

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

"The next three to four months are very important. War can happen, but we do not want a war. If war is waged on us, it will be the last one," the railways minister warned.

The minister made the announcement as passengers were waiting at the Lahore station to board the train to travel to India.

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.

Pakistan's latest move comes a day after it expelled Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria on Wednesday and decided to downgrade the diplomatic ties with India over what it called New Delhi's "unilateral and illegal" move to revoke the special status of

The decision was taken during a Security Committee meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan and top civil and military leadership.

India on Monday revoked of the Constitution to withdraw the special status given to and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories -- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

First Published: Thu, August 08 2019. 15:55 IST