Poonch-Rawalakot bus service was suspended on Monday after Pakistan authorities refused to open Rah-e-Milan Gate. The development comes immediately after Islamabad restored the Samjhauta Express services between Lahore and Delhi. “I was going back, went to the border, bought tickets but was told that the Pakistan authorities did not open the gate today, then we had to come back,” said Syed Bukhari – resident of Mirpur (PoK).
Meanwhile, days after the Samjhauta Express train services was suspended due to tense bilateral ties, the train carrying some 150 passengers left Lahore railway station for India, Radio Pakistan reported.
In New Delhi, Railways officials announced on Saturday that the two countries have agreed to operationalise services at their ends. India cancelled the operations on February 28.
The train operates from Delhi on every Wednesday and Sunday. Pakistani authorities suspended the train service on February 28 amidst tense bilateral ties in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack.
The footfall of the train, which generally records an occupancy of around 70 per cent, had fallen drastically post the Pulwama attack in which 40 CRPF soldiers were killed.
Tensions escalated between India and Pakistan in the wake of the Pulwama attack by Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed. The Samjhauta Express, named after the Hindi word for "agreement", comprises six sleeper coaches and an AC 3-tier coach.
The train service was started on July 22, 1976 under the Shimla Agreement that settled the 1971 war between the two nations. On the Indian side, the train runs from Delhi to Attari and from Lahore to Wagah on the Pakistan side.