Thursday, February 28, 2019

Samjotha Express suspended in wake of Pakistan-India tension

FO says Samjhuta Express will resume operations as soon as security situation improves

File photo 

LAHORE: Pakistan authorities on Thursday suspended operations of the Samjotha Express in wake of rising tensions between Islamabad and New Delhi.

The Foreign Office in a statement said, "The operation of Samjhuta Express has been suspended today, in view of the prevailing tensions between Pakistan and India."

Samjhuta Express will resume its operations as soon as the security situation improves between India and Pakistan, it added.

The train which runs between Lahore and Atari was scheduled to depart today (Thursday) at 8am. Additional General Manager Pakistan Railways said the decision to suspend the train service was taken to avert any untoward incident in light of heightened security concerns.

Tensions between Pakistan and India have been high following the Pulwama attack in occupied Kashmir. India without any proof blamed Pakistan for harbouring militants behind the attack. On Tuesday, Indian planes violated the Line of Control (LoC) and were forced to return owing to the timely response of the Pakistan Air Force. Pakistan on Wednesday confirmed it had shot down two Indian aircraft which had crossed over the LoC and taken one Indian pilot into custody.

Prime Minister Imran Khan after the Pulwama attack invited India to initiate dialogue, stressing Pakistan would act if New Delhi provided actionable evidence. In his speech yesterday, the prime minister once again invited India for talks, stressing “better sense should prevail.”