Sheikh says Pakistan closes Samjhota Express

ISLAMABAD: Federal Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed announced that Pakistan had closed the Samjhota Express train service with India.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Rasheed said the bogies of  Samjhota Express will now be used for passengers travelling on the occasion of Eid. 

He added, “Till I am railways minister, Samjhota Express train service will not operate.”

“The next three to four months are very important. War can happen, but we do not want a war. If war is waged on us, it will be the last one,” the railways minister warned.

He also criticised the decision taken by the Modi-led government. “All the rules have been suspended with this step by Modi. Kashmiris and Pakistanis stand together.”

“I know Kashmir from inside. Modi’s governance ends at Lal Chowk in Srinagar,” he added. 

The Samjhota Express train service was suspended earlier this year, due to escalating military tensions between the two neighbouring countries. However, the service was later resumed. 

Samjhota Express ran twice a week from Lahore to Attari via the Wagah railway station.

The move comes days after the Indian government stripped occupied Kashmir of its special autonomy. 

India rushed through a presidential decree on Monday to abolish Article 370, which revoked the special status granted to occupied Kashmir and made the state a Union Territory with the legislature. The move followed days of uncertainty in the region that began last week when New Delhi ordered tourists and Hindu pilgrims to leave “immediately” and sent thousands of additional troops to the disputed valley.