NEW DELHI: In the backdrop of the heightened tension between India and Pakistan, the number of Indians travelling on the Samjhauta Express to visit Pakistan has declined to nearly half than usual at this time of the year. Against a total capacity of 777, the last train which left Old Delhi railway station of Pakistan had only 275 passengers on board.
“Among the total passengers, 209 were Pakistani nationals who had come to India, while only 66 Indians set off for the neighbouring country,” talking to Indian TV channel S N Malik, Old Delhi Railway Station Superintendent Delhi, said on Monday.
The lesser number of Indians travelling to Pakistan is attributed to the Indian government’s advisory warning Indians “not to travel or be in Pakistan”. According to the Indian railway officials, Samjhauta Express, the ten-coach train, was running almost full before the Mumbai terror strikes.
The Samjhauta Express, plying twice in a week on Tuesdays and Fridays from Attari and on Sundays and Wednesdays from Delhi, was started on July 22, 1976 following the Shimla Agreement and was the only rail connection between the two countries until the reopening of the Thar Express.-SANA