A day after announcing the suspension of Samjhauta Express in the wake of the abrogation of Article 370, Pakistan on Friday said it will stop the Thar Express, a passenger train that runs between Jodhpur and Karachi, state media reported on Friday.
In a press conference here, Pakistan Minister of Railways, Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad, announced that the Thar Express will be shut down at 12:00 am (midnight) today while Samjhauta Express will cease to run from Saturday, reported DND News Agency.
The decision to suspend the two trains is in line with Islamabad's other moves to remonstrate, including suspending bilateral trade and downgrading of diplomatic relations.
Indian Railways on Thursday had clarified that the Samjhauta Express has not yet been suspended but Pakistan authorities refused to send their crew to India citing security concern. The train stood in the Wagah side of the border in Pakistan with around 110 passengers yesterday. An Indian engine brought the train from Wagah to Attari.
The Samjhauta Express, commonly called the Friendship Express, is a bi-weekly train--Thursday and Monday--that runs between Delhi and Attari in India and Lahore in Pakistan since 1976 after the Shimla Accord between the two countries. The word Samjhauta means "agreement", "accord" and "compromise" in both Hindi and Urdu.
The last time the operations of Samjhauta Express were suspended was on February 28, following the Pulwama terror attack that was carried out by Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed or JeM that killed more than 40 CRPF jawans on February 14. But it was resumed shortly later.
Calling its steps in Jammu and Kashmir an "entirely internal affair", India has further rejected Pakistan's unilateral move to downgrade diplomatic ties and asked Islamabad to review them so that normal channels for diplomatic communications are preserved.
( With inputs from ANI )