Samjhauta Express services (Photo Credit: Twitter)
A day after downgrading dimplomatic ties with India over Kashmir move, Pakistan on Thursday 'permanently' closed the bi-weekly Samjhauta Express train service connecting Lahore and New Delhi. Addressing a press conference, Pakistani Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said that the boggies of Samjhauta Express will now be used for passengers travelling on the occasion of Eid.
"Till I am Railways minister, Samjhauta Express train service will not operate," he was quoted as saying by the Geo TV. The Samjhauta Express train service was suspended earlier this year, due to escalating tensions between the two neighbouring countries following Pulawama attack. However, the service was later resumed.
According to the reports, as soon as the train reached Waghah border, Pakisatni crew stopped the train and refused to go any further, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded. Following the unprofessional behavior by Pakistan, the Indian government sent a crew and the train re-started its journey to Attari.
Several reports in local media said that Pakistan has also decided to ban the screening of Bollywood movies. “No Indian movie to be screened in Pakistani cinemas,” Geo News quoted Firdous Ashiq Awan, Special Assistant to Pakistan Prime Minister on I&B as saying.
Earlier on Wednesday, Pakistan had announced to downgrade diplomatic ties with India and suspended bilateral trade. At the National Security Committee meeting, chaired by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, it was also decided to recall Pakistani High Commissioner to New Delhi.
The decision from Pakistan came in response to India's move to remove part of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that gave Jammu and Kashmir a significant automony. The central government also devided the state in two Union Territories (UTs) - Jammu and Kashmir with its own legislature and Ladakh with legislature.
Pakistan, which illegaly occupied a part of Jammu and Kashmir in 1947 when the state's ruler decided to join India after Independence and claims all of it, had condemned and rejected the Indian government's decision and vowed to exercise "all possible options" to counter India's "illegal" and "unilateral" step.