Train to Karachi: India suspends Thar Link Express amid tensions with Pakistan

Thar Link Express runs on the Indian side between Bhagat Ki Kothi railway station in Jodhpur to Munabao.

Published: 16th August 2019 05:10 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th August 2019 09:49 PM   |  A+A-

Thar Express

Thar Express (File Photo | PTI)

By PTI

JAIPUR: The railways on Friday cancelled operations of Thar Link Express that connects Jodhpur in India to Karachi in Pakistan, officials said, a development that temporarily snaps all rail links between the two countries, as the services of Samjhauta Express have already been suspended.

The railways said it cancelled the services of Thar Link Express from Jodhpur as Pakistan has already suspended its operations on their side.

ALSO READ: Karachi-bound Thar Express with 165 passengers reaches last station on Indian side

"We have been continuously chasing Pakistan about the status of Thar Express running on its end. But we have not got any response. We cannot leave our passengers in limbo. So in view of Pakistan cancelling the train on its end, we have also decided to cancel its operation on our end till further orders," North Western Railway's Chief Public Relations Officer Abhay Sharma told PTI.

Another railway spokesperson said here that the Thar Link Express would not undertake its journey scheduled for early Saturday (1 am) and the administration has initiated the process of cancellation of all the 45 tickets which have been issued so far.

"The directions (to suspend the train) were issued by the railway ministry to the North Western Railway on Friday," said Gopal Sharma, the spokesperson for Jodhpur Division-NWR.

The weekly train departs from Jodhpur's Bhagat Ki Kothi railway station on Saturdays and reach Munabao, the last station on the Indian side of the border, early morning of the day.

At the zero point on the international border with Pakistan, passengers change trains.

And a train from Pakistan then takes them to Karachi.

"Till now, 45 tickets have been issued. But with this order in effect now, we are cancelling the tickets," said Sharma.

The Thar Express has been running between Jodhpur and Karachi since services resumed on February 18, 2006 after a 41-year suspension.

The train service was not suspended even after the deadly terrorist attack in Pulwama on February 14 which sent the tension between the two countries soaring.

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

Last Saturday, the train had departed from Bhagat Ki Kothi station with 165 passengers.

The train from Pakistan was also received successfully by India with as many passengers.

Pakistan had last week announced suspension of all train services to India after the Centre scrapped provisions of Article 370 and divided Jammu and Kashmir into two Union territories.

Pakistan also stopped the Lahore-Wagah Samjhauta Express services -- the main rail link between the two hostile neighbours.

Following the move, the Indian Railways announced on Sunday that it has cancelled the New Delhi-Attari Samjhauta Express on its side.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp