Samjhauta Express services restored; train to run from India on Sunday

Samjhauta Express train will run from India on Sunday.

Samjhauta Express services restored; train to run from India on Sunday Pic for representational use only

New Delhi: The Indian Railways on Saturday announced that it has restored the services of Samjhauta Express train which runs between India and Pakistan.

According to news agency ANI, the train will run from India on Sunday (March 3).

The announcement was made after the two neighbours agreed to operationalise services at their ends, a senior railway official said.

The announcement came a day after Pakistan released Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.

While Pakistan had cancelled its services right after an air strike by the Indian Air Force, India cancelled the operations of the Samjhauta Express on February 28.

The train will start running from the Indian side on Sunday, while on the Pakistan side it will leave Lahore on Monday on its return journey.

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

The Indian Railways had earlier cancelled the operations of the Indo-Pak Samjhauta Express on its side due to a drastic decline in occupancy, especially after the Pulwama terror attack, and the suspension of services from across the border.

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 Shimla Agreement that settled the 1971 war between the two nations. From Lahore, the train departs on Monday and Thursday.

The train operates from Delhi on every Wednesday and Sunday.

The sources said the footfall on the train, which generally records an occupancy of around 70 per cent, has fallen drastically post the Pulwama terror attack on February 14 carried out by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed.