Samjhauta Express train departs for Delhi after 5-hour delay

Attari: Samjhauta Express, the bilateral train service between India and Pakistan, departed for Delhi from Attari with 117 passengers in the early hours of Friday after a delay of around five hours.

Earlier, the train was supposed to leave at 8 pm. But it was delayed due to immigration check.

The train with 76 Indian and 41 Pakistani nationals finally 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 had suspended 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 in 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 --Thursday and Monday-- that runs 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" and "compromise" 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 CRPF jawans on February 14. However, services resumed shortly later.

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