Pakistan clears entry of Thar Express into Karachi, say officials

Thar Express from Pakistan reached India on Saturday afternoon, while the Karachi-bound train is on its way to the neighbouring country, officials said.

Published: 11th August 2019 08:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th August 2019 08:35 AM   |  A+A-

Thar Express

Thar Express (File Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI/JAIPUR: Thar Express from Pakistan reached India on Saturday afternoon, while the Karachi-bound train is on its way to the neighbouring country, officials said.

The Thar Express from Pakistan started from the station zero point at 17.20 hours and reached Indian station Munabao at 17.40 hours with 165 passengers - 62 Indians and 103 Pakistanis - on board, railways said.

The Thar link Express from India is on its way to Karachi. Pakistan had on Friday announced a suspension of all train services to India after the Modi government scrapped provisions of Article 370 and divided Jammu and Kashmir into two Union territories.

Pakistan's Railway Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed had said in Islamabad that this would be the last Jodhpur-Karachi train.

The passenger from both countries reached zero point on the international border and changed trains to go to their respective destinations in India and Pakistan.

The Indian train reached Munabao, the last station on the Indian side of the border, at 6.55 am after departing from Bhagat Ki Kothi station in Jodhpur at 1 am and was awaiting clearance from Pakistan, they said.

The clearance was received at 3.05 pm, a North Western Railway spokesperson said, adding that the train departed soon after.

The Thar Express has been running between Jodhpur and Karachi every Saturday morning (1 am) since services resumed on February 18, 2006, after a 41-year suspension.

According to estimates, over four lakh passengers have taken the train in the past 13 years.

Among the 165 passengers, 81 are Indians, who are visiting their relatives in Pakistan.

Eighty-four Pakistan nationals are returning to their country after completion of their visa limit in India, a railway official has said.

As the passengers boarded the train at Bhagat ki Kothi station, there were concerns that the journey could even end at Munabao in Barmer district, amid uncertainties over strained ties between the two countries.

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