Pakistan resumes Samjhauta Express, 176 passengers arrive at Attari
Two days after Pakistan announced to resume Samjhauta Express following its suspension amid heightened tension between the two neighbouring countries, the train on Monday reached the Attari railway station from Lahore with 176 passengers aboard.
Pakistan had suspended the train on February 28 after India launched an air strike at a terrorist camp in Pakistan’s Balakot in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans were killed.
Of the 176 passengers who arrived at Attari, 162 were Indians, a customs official said.
The train, which runs on Monday and Thursday from Lahore to Attari and vice-versa, arrived at Attari station at around 1:40 pm. Earlier, the Delhi-Attari Express, which runs from Delhi to Attari and vice-versa, reached Attari at 6:55am carrying 12 Pakistani nationals.
While Samjhauta returned to Lahore by taking the Pak nationals at 2:30pm, the Delhi-Attari Express was to depart to Delhi at 8pm.
One of the passengers, Nizamudin, a resident of Hyderabad in Pakistan’s Sindh province, said, “I and my wife Ameena Begam, who is an Indian, had come to India to meet her relatives. We are returning to Pakistan, though the date of our visas is still not expired. We were apprehensive due to tension between the two countries.”
“The people of India and Pakistan want peace, not war. The governments of both the countries should sort out the issues through dialogue,” Ameena said.
Salina of Uttar Pradesh said, “I along with my two sisters Shamina and Vanila had gone to Pakistan to meet our relatives. As tension is mounting between the two contries, we chose to come back.”
Ali Muhammad of Muzaffarnagar in UP said, “I along with my family had gone to Karachi to meet our relatives. We came back as the date of our visas expired. I appeal to both the governments that waging a war will not help anyone.”
Kamru, a resident of Delhi, said, “The expiry date of my visa is March 28, but I returned to India due to tension. I am feeling safe now.”
The 42 passengers, including 40 Pakistani nationals, who arrived at Attari aboard the Delhi-Attari Express on February 28, had to walk to the other side on foot from the Integrated Check Post (ICP) after the Pakistan authorities didn’t send Samjhauta to Attari.