LAHORE: The Delhi-bound Samjhauta Express, which was ordered back to Lahore upon India’s request, will not be able to operate on Monday either, railway authorities said on Saturday. The train’s departure has now been pushed back to October 15.
Pakistani officials had called back the train – which runs twice a week between Lahore and Delhi – from the Wagah border to the Lahore railway station on Thursday after Indian officials had cited potential security risks due to widespread protests by farmers.
Read: Envoy summoned over Samjhauta Express return
The next day, India’s acting deputy high commissioner Raghuram was summoned to Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to express concern over cancellation of the operation of Samjhauta Express that inconvenienced 130 Pakistani and 80 Indian passengers.
A spokesman for the Pakistan Railways said on Saturday that the Indian railway authorities had once again refused to receive the Samjhauta Express, which was scheduled to depart from Lahore on Monday.
He cited the same reason for the hold-up. “The Indian security agencies seek to avoid any untoward situation arising from the prolonged protest of farmers on the railway tracks.”
Read: Security threats: Samjhauta Express called back from Wagah
He added that the Foreign Office would deal with visa-related issues for the Indians who are currently staying at the Lahore railway station because their stay in Pakistan has expired.
Reports suggest that some of the passengers will be transported by bus.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 11th, 2015.