Samjhauta Express, the bilateral train service between India and Pakistan, reached Old Delhi railway station nearly 5 hours after its scheduled arrival time. This is because the train departed for Delhi from Attari with 117 passengers in the early hours of Friday after a delay of around five hours.
The Samjhauta Express train was supposed to leave at 8 pm but was delayed due to immigration check.
The Samjhauta Express train with 76 Indian and 41 Pakistani nationals departed from Attari at around 1 am, chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) of Northern Railways said.
Following heightened tensions between India and Pakistan in the wake of the abrogation of Article 370, which accorded a special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Islamabad unilaterally decided to suspend the train services on its side on Thursday.
However, Indian Railways clarified that the train service has not yet been suspended but Pakistan authorities refused to send their crew to India citing security concern.
The Samjhauta Express was standing at the Wagah side of the border in Pakistan with around 110 passengers. An Indian engine brought the train from Wagah to Attari.
The Samjhauta Express, commonly called the friendship express, is a bi-weekly train – running on Thursday and Monday – between Delhi and Attari in India and Lahore in Pakistan. Services began in 1976 under the Simla Agreement signed between the two countries.
The word Samjhauta means “agreement” in both Hindi and Urdu.
Last time, the operations of Samjhauta Express were suspended on February 28, following the Pulwama terror attack that was carried out by Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) that killed 40 Indian soldiers on February 14. However, services resumed later.