Spooked Pakistan Suspends Samjhauta Express; Bans screening of Bollywood movies

Pakistan on Thursday suspended the Samjhauta Express train services linking India and Pakistan a day after Islamabad downgraded the diplomatic ties with New Delhi. The announcement was made by Pakistan Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Thursday that Pakistan had closed the train services, according to a Pakistani media.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Rasheed said the bogies of the Samjhauta Express will now be used for passengers travelling on the occasion of Eid. “Till I am Railways minister, Samjhauta Express train service will not operate,” The train was suspended earlier this year, due to tensions between the two neighbouring countries, however, was resumed later.

After Pakistan announced it was “permanently discontinuing” the Samjhauta Express and the train with 110 passengers was stranded at its Wagah station, the Indian Railways brought the train to Attari in India after sending its locomotive and crew to the other side. Northern Railway spokesperson Deepak Kumar told IANS: “An engine with the loco-pilot and other crew members were sent to Wagah border.

“The train left from Wagah (Pakistan) border after the security and customs clearance from the local authorities there and arrived at the Attari station at 5.15 p.m.”

After the abrogation of Article 370, Pakistan has been taking harebrained decisions to lodge its protest against India’s decision. It has snapped bilateral trade relations, scaled-down diplomatic ties with India and expelled Indian envoy from Pakistan. Earlier the government has also decided to put a ban on the screening of Bollywood movies in Pakistan.

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