Following Delhi’s decision to abolish occupied Kashmir of its autonomous status, Pakistan has suspended the Samjhauta Express train service between Pakistan and India.
The Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed announced this decision at a press conference at the National Press Club.
He said, “Before the announcement of the decision, the passengers of Samjhauta Express with their luggage were sent to Wagha border and India was asked to send its engine to take the passengers away.”
As per the minister, those passengers will get a refund from the divisional superintendent office of Pakistan Railways who booked tickets for next train scheduled to depart from Lahore
Sheikh Rashid said, “The train which operates twice a week every Thursday and Monday would not run anymore.”
Adding, “India continues to commit human rights violations in Kashmir and we will not remain a mere spectator. Samjhauta Express will not operate as long as I am minister for railways.”
In reply to a question, the minister revealed that the present tension on the Line of Control was planned and predicted.
Adding, “A war may break out between the two nuclear states. We do not want war and want peace in the region as war will be dangerous.”
Furthermore, the Pakistani crew that was deputed in Samjhauta Express was not keen to take the train with 109 passengers to India as they were receiving life threats from Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing and Indian police for rejecting their demands.
A letter jointly written by the guards, Mohammad Mushtaq and Mohammad Javaid, and driver Irfan Iqbal on Aug 6th read, “We have been performing duties to take Samjhauta Express from Lahore to Attari (India) on every Monday and Thursday. On July 25, we have issued the requisite Indian visa of six months. Since the day, officials of RAW, the CID and Attari police station have been forcing us to provide information regarding the movement of Pakistan Army and special military trains and time table of passenger trains.”