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Passengers relieved as Samjhota Express resumes operation

March 4, 2019
Passengers relieved as Samjhota Express resumes operation

The train travels from Lahore to Attari

 

Pakistanis wave to their Indian relatives as they leave for India in Samjhota Express. Photo: AFP/file

Indian passengers who were stuck in Pakistan heaved a sigh of relief after Samjhota Express resumed its operation Monday morning. 

Over 151 passengers were stuck at Lahore Railway station after the train operation was suspended on Thursday because of the escalating tensions between India and Pakistan.

The train left the platform at 9am. It will take passengers to Attari via Wagah Border.

Samjhota Express only operates on Mondays and Thursdays.

Related: Two Pakistan Army soldiers, two civilians martyred in Indian shelling across LoC

The people from India thanked the government for resuming the train service. “We want both the governments to solve their problems impeccably,” said a woman.

A man, who had come from India to attend his niece’s wedding in Karachi, said that he received a lot of love from the people of Pakistan. “I hope I am able to come to Pakistan after every two or three years,” he added.

Tensions are running high between India and Pakistan following a suicide attack on an Indian convoy last month, which killed 40 soldiers in Indian-Administered Kashmir. Indian media and government officials were quick to assign blame to Pakistan for what they said was supporting the Maulana Masood Azhar-led group, the JeM. Pakistan refuted allegations that its government was linked to the Pulwama attack.

On February 27, Pakistani Air Force shot down two Indian Air Force MiG 21 aircraft. One pilot was arrested tooOne plane crashed in the Khuiratta sector of Azad Kashmir while one crashed in Indian-Administered Kashmir’s Budgam area.

The PAF shot down the Indian jets a day after two Indian aircraft violated the Line of Control and crossed three to four miles into Pakistani territory near Muzaffarabad before PAF jets scrambled and they turned back. They dropped a payload but no damage was incurred, according to the ISPR chief, who took to Twitter to announce the event. India, on the other hand, claims to have “completely destroyed” a “terrorist camp” in Balakot by dropping “1,000kg bombs”.

Related: Pakistan will retaliate if there is an attack from the Indian side: PM Khan

On Friday, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, an Indian Air Force pilot who was captured on February 27 after his jet was shot down for violating Pakistani airspace, was sent back to India Friday. He was released into Indian custody via the Wagah Border amid tight security.

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