86 Indian passengers of Samjhauta Express cross Wagah border on foot
After spending four days at the Lahore railway station and its adjacent hotels in Pakistan’s Punjab province, 86 Indian passengers left for their home by crossing the Wagah border on foot on Monday.punjab Updated: Oct 14, 2015 09:28 IST
After spending four days at the Lahore railway station and its adjacent hotels in Pakistan’s Punjab province, 86 Indian passengers left for their home by crossing the Wagah border on foot on Monday.
Some 200 people were going to India by the Samjhauta Express last Thursday when it was stopped at the Wagah border by the Indian authorities citing potential security risks due to farmers’ “rail roko” protest in Punjab.
The train then returned to the Lahore railway station and the Pakistani authorities provided stay to the passengers at the station and adjacent hotels. The Pakistani passengers, however, left for their homes.
The departure of the Samjhauta Express was cancelled again on Monday on the same ground.
Pakistan railways minister Saad Rafique said the Indian passengers were send back to their homes by road.
“As the Indian authorities again refused to allow the train to their territory again yesterday on the farmers’ issue we had no other choice but to send them by road at Wagah,” according to a railways spokesman.
He said 86 Indian passengers, including 25 women and 10 children, were shifted to Wagah from the Lahore railway station who crossed the border on foot on Monday.
More than 100 Pakistani passengers have protested the decision and demanded the railways to make arrangements for their travel to India by road as well.
On the other hand, adviser to the Pakistan prime minister on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz has expressed concern over the suspension of the Samjhauta Express and asked the Pakistani high commission in New Delhi to help the stranded Pakistani passengers at the Indian railway station.