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Thar Link Express running smoothly: Railway officials

The Thar Link Express, which departed from Bhagat ki Kothi railway station near Jodhpur at 1 a.m. on Saturday, has left Munabao at 3.10 p.m. to reach Pakistan, confirmed Gopal Sharma, PRO, Jodhpur railway division.
Thar Link Express running smoothly: Railway officials

Earlier on Friday, Pakistan Railway Minister Sheikh Raees Ahmed had announced the suspension of Thar Express, which connects India with Pakistan, in the wake of the rising tension between the two neighbouring nations over the abrogation of Article 370 granting special status to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).

However, the railway officials in Jodhpur said on Friday that the train service shall continue from the Indian side.

Thar Link Express is the Indian part of Thar Express which runs once a week between Jodhpur and Munabao. Passengers from Munabao then clear customs and are transported across the border to the Zero Point station from where the Thar Express takes them to Karachi.

A total of 165 passengers travelled in the train on Saturday, out of which 84 were Pakistani citizens, while 81 were Ind travelling to meet their relatives across the border, a railway official said. Seventeen passengers cancelled their tickets due to the confusion over the running of the train.

After leaving the Bhagat Ki Kothi railway station at its scheduled time, the train reached Munabao at 6.55 a.m. on Saturday. After completing the customs formalities, the train left from Munabao at 3.10 p.m. for the Zero Point in Pakistan.

In fact, the train service from the other side of the border was also running smoothly. The train from Karachi reached the Zero Point at 10 a.m. after leaving Pakistan on time on Friday night, a railway official said.

Due to heavy downpour, the train was delayed by three hours and hence reached the Zero Point at around 10 a.m. There are around 228 passengers who are supposed to come from Pakistan to India.

The estimated time for the train to reach Bhagat ki Kothi is around 11.30 p.m., the official said, adding that the train should leave Munabao for Bhagat ki kothi at around 7 p.m.

Pakistan on Friday announced its decision to suspend the bus service with India, a day after it said that the Samjhauta Express train service between the two nations would be cancelled.

( With inputs from IANS )

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