India has, as a precautionary measure, decided to cancel the movement of trains like the Samjhauta and Thar Express and buses to Pakistan citing security fears, particularly after some stations were set on fire in Sind. The Karachi airport also has remained closed throughout Friday.
Road and rail movement between India and Pakistan was last stopped after the terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament in December 2001 and relaunched once the bilateral peace process got underway in January 2004.
The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met for an hour on Friday evening to analyse the security situation arising from Thursday’s assassination of Benazir Bhutto and decided to closely monitor Pakistan’s internal situation while preventing a possible spillover on this side of the border. It, however, decided not to announce these measures in a bid not to embarrass the Pakistani government, senior officials said.
The Prime Minister has not spoken to any leader in Pakistan, but has written a letter of condolence to the government and family of the slain former Prime Minister.
The PM and National Security Adviser MK Narayanan briefed leaders of major political parties about the security situation based on whatever inputs were available and the political party leaders were told of the steps the government had taken to tighten security along the border, the PMO spokesman said.
Briefing leaders from across the political spectrum was meant as a clear political signal from democratic India to Pakistan’s undemocratic polity, which is struggling in the throes of violence and uncertainty.