Indian Railways Crew Cross Border To Escort Stranded Samjhauta Express Stopped By Pakistan
The 117 passengers of Samjhauta Express, were left stranded at Wagah after Pakistan railway officials stopped the train and said they would not enter India.
The train service was unilaterally suspended by Pakistan following the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. As a result, the train arrived at Delhi five hours late after being escorted by Indian crew members at 8 am on August 9.
As per an Indian Express report, two drivers and a guard were sent to Wagah on board an engine at 3 pm to escort the train to heavily guarded Attari.
Pakistan Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed at a press conference said, “We have decided to suspend the Samjhauta train service. Till I am the Railways Minister, Samjhauta Express train service will not operate.” He also said that the train’s bogies will be now be used for passengers travelling on the occasion of Eid. Referring to the hostile situation between both the countries, “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.”
Northern Railway spokesperson Deepak Kumar told reporters that the train service is not suspended but the Pakistan authorities have raised some security concerns to send their crew and guard of the train to India. He also added that they have assured the Pakistan counterparts that the situation is normal on this side.
The Samjhauta Express from both Delhi and Lahore halt at Attari. Passengers bound to Delhi coming from Lahore at Attari get on to an Indian train, and Lahore-bound passengers board the Pakistani train.
The train service was earlier suspended briefly by the Pakistani authorities on February 28 after escalating tensions between both the countries after Pulwama terror attack.