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After Samjhauta, Pakistan to suspend Thar Express service

On Thursday, Pakistan briefly suspended the train services of the Samjhauta Express at the Wagah border with 117 people stranded. An engine was then sent to bring the train back to Attari.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: August 9, 2019 8:27:41 pm
Pakistan’s federal minister for railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmad addresses a news conference in Islamabad, Pakistan, Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)

Pakistan Friday announced that they will discontinue train services of the Thar Express, which runs across the Rajasthan border linking the two nations. The development comes a day after the Samjhauta Express was suspended by Pakistan following its decision to downgrade bilateral ties with India.

At a press conference in Islamabad, Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid said, “As long as I am railways minister, Samjhauta Express and Thar Express will not operate. That’s it,” Pakistan news agency Dawn reported.

After a 41-year suspension, the Thar Express connected Jodhpur’s Bhagat ki Kothi station to Karachi and ran every Friday night. On February 18, 2006 the train was resumed.

Sheikh further said that he will visit the free Jammu and Kashmir after Eid. “We don’t want war […] But any person who does not fulfill his commitment with the Kashmiris is a traitor,” Dawn quoted him as saying.

On Thursday, Pakistan briefly suspended the train services of the Samjhauta Express at the Wagah border with 117 people stranded. An engine was then sent to bring the train back to Attari.

Pakistani authorities had briefly suspended the train service on February 28 this year following tense bilateral ties in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF soldiers were killed.

Pakistan’s decision to suspend trains comes after India revoked Article 370 of the Constitution to withdraw the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. The neighbouring country downgraded diplomatic ties with India expelling Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria on Wednesday.

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