Pakistan on Thursday suspended the Samjhauta Express train services linking India and Pakistan. The announcement was made by Pakistan Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Thursday that Pakistan had closed the train services, according to a Pakistani media.
The train was stranded at Wagah shortly afterwards and India has dispatched an engine with crew and guard to bring it back from the border checkpost.
In a press conference in Islamabad, Pakistan, Rasheed said the bogies of the train will now be used for passengers travelling on the occasion of Eid, reported the media.
The move comes days after the Narendra Modi government scrapped Article 370, Article 35A and bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories (UTs) with two Lieutenant Governors. While Jammu and Kashmir will have a legislature, Ladakh will be a UT without a legislature.
The Superintendent of Attari Railway station, Arvind Kumar Gupta, said that the train was scheduled to reach India on Thursday. But Pakistan refused to send its driver and railway crew to India, citing security issues. It further asked India to send its own staff to take the train back. Kumar told that now Indian Railway drivers and guards who have visas have been sent to bring Samjhauta Express back.
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
The train service was suspended earlier this year after tensions escalated between the two neighbours following the Pulwama attack and Balakot strike in February.