Pakistan suspends Samjhauta express
Pakistan's railway minister says train won't run as passengers wait at Lahore to travel to New Delhi.
Pakistan said on Thursday it would suspend a rail service linking it to India, as relations continue to sour over Kashmir.
“We have decided to shut down Samjhauta Express,” railways minister Sheikh Rasheed told a news conference on Thursday, in reference to the train running to India's capital New Delhi from the Pakistani city of Lahore.
“As long as I am railways minister, Samjhauta Express can’t operate”.
He said the bogies would be used for passengers travelling on the occasion of Eid.
The Samjhauta Express train service was suspended earlier this year, due to escalating tensions. However, the service was later resumed.
"The next three to four months are very important. War can happen, but we do not want a war. If war is waged on us, it will be the last one," the railways minister warned.
The minister made the announcement as passengers were waiting at the Lahore station to board the train to travel to India.
The Samjhauta Express, named after the Hindi/Urdu word for 'agreement' or 'understanding' comprises six sleeper coaches and an AC 3-tier coach. The train service was started on July 22, 1976 under the Simla Agreement that settled the 1971 war between the two nations.
On the Indian side, the train runs from Delhi to Attari and from Lahore to Wagah on the Pakistan side.
India on Monday 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.
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