‘No formal communication by Pak over discontinuing Samjhauta Express’

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New Delhi, Aug 8 (IANS) After Pakistan announced it was “permanently discontinuing” the Samjhauta Express, the Indian Railways on Thursday said that Islamabad has not given any formal information about scrapping of the cross-border train and that it has been stopped at the Wagah border in Pakistan.

Northern Railway spokesperson Deepak Kumar told IANS, “We have not recieved any formal communication regarding the suspension of the train services.”

“However, we are sending our own engine with our crew guard to bring train from Wagah (in Pakistan) to Attari,” Kumar said.

The Northern Railway official said Pakistani authorities have raised some concerns with regard to the security of their crew members on the Samjhuata Express.

“We have told them that the situation is normal on the Indian side.”

He said the Indian Railways is sending its own crew members to Wagah to bring the train back into India.

Kumar said there are about 110 passengers coming to India from Pakistan on the train, while around 70 passenger are waiting to go to Pakistan.

The bi-weekly train runs between both countries on Mondays and Thursdays. It links Lahore with Attari in India’s Punjab.

His remarks came after Pakistan announced it was permanently discontinuing the Samjhauta Express train service with India following New Delhi’s revocation of special status for Jammu and Kashmir.

Pakistan’s move came a day after it expelled the Indian envoy in Islamabad, announced suspension of bilateral trade, among other measures in retaliation for India revoking Article 370 over Jammu and Kashmir.

The Samjhauta Express service was suspended earlier this year after military tensions escalated between the two neighbours following the Pulwama attack and the Balakot air strike by the Indian Air Force.

–IANS

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