Four-and-a-half hours behind schedule, the Samjhauta Express which was stopped at the Wagah border by Pakistani authorities on Thursday reached Delhi station at 8 am on Friday, the railways said. There were 117 passengers, including 48 Pakistanis on board, it said.
On Thursday, these passengers were stranded at Wagah on the Pakistani side after it was stopped there by the neighbouring country’s authorities citing security concerns.
The Indian railways had sent one engine along with crew and guard to escort the train from Wagah to Attari on the Indian side.
After several hours of waiting, the Samjhauta Express headed for Lahore departed from Attari at 6:41 pm with 103 passengers, including 10 Pakistanis, railway officials had said.
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.
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 without legislature.