/ Pakistan pulls brakes on Samjhauta Express in Lahore, shuts airspace

ABP News : Feb 28, 2019, 11:11 AM

Amid heightened tensions with India, Pakistan on Thursday stopped the Samjhauta Express. The train was scheduled to depart from Lahore at 7:30 am on Thursday but it did not leave at the scheduled time from the Lahore railway station. The passengers were told in the morning that the train will not depart and those who had bought the ticket will be refunded. India regarding the same where no reason for the cancellation.

Amid heightened tensions with India, Pakistan on Thursday stopped the Samjhauta Express. The train was scheduled to depart from Lahore at 7:30 am on Thursday but it did not leave at the scheduled time from the Lahore railway station. The passengers were told in the morning that the train will not depart and those who had bought the ticket will be refunded. It is also reported that passengers with an expiring visa will be sent to India through Attari Border by bus. Official information was sent to India regarding the same where no reason for the cancellation of the train was given.

ARY News also reported that the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced complete closure of flight operations for all domestic and international airlines across the country till further orders.

The Samjhauta Express, named after the Hindi word for "understanding", comprises six sleeper coaches and an AC 3-tier coach. The train was inaugurated in the 1970s under the terms of the peace treaty that settled the war between the two nations in 1971.

The bi-weekly train departs from the Old Delhi Railway Station at 11.10 p.m on Wednesday and Sunday. From Lahore, the train departs on Monday and Thursday. Originally, the train offered a through service with one rake going all the way between the terminals - Delhi in India to Lahore in Pakistan. However, now a Pakistani rake stops at Attari at which point passengers have to change trains and board an Indian rake.

Sources said the footfall on the train, which generally records occupancy of around 70 per cent, was seen post the Pulwama attack on February 14 in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed.

Indian Railway Minister Piyush Goyal earlier Wednesday said, "We have not received any instructions from authorities about any change in the running of the Samjhauta Express. We will follow all instructions given to us in this regard."