After two days of service cancellation citing the tension between India and Pakistan, the Samjhauta Express has resumed its service and will leave for Pakistan from Delhi on Sunday, as per its regular schedule.
Samjhauta Express or Friendship Express, connecting two of the most disputed nations of all times – India and Pakistan has often been a subject to cancelations in times of escalation between the two neighbouring countries. In the latest occurrence, Pakistan had suspended operations of the Samjhauta Express from its side since the IAF air strikes at Balakot happened on February 26; and India cancelled the train operations from its side on February 28 – stranding number of passengers of both countries at railway stations.
After the release of IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman, the possible de-escalation move prompted India and Pakistan to agree and operationalize services at their ends. Hence, the service of Samjhauta Express has been resumed and the train will leave from Delhi as per its schedule from Sunday – March 3, 2019 towards Pakistan. All passengers travelling from Delhi to Attari will be able to travel in the train tomorrow, while Pakistani side service will resume from Lahore towards Wagah from Monday – as per its regular schedule.
Although both railway ministries have maintained that the suspension of service was due to “purely operational reasons”, it reiterates the escalation between both nations. However, the prompt resumption of train service from both ends sensitises the true meaning of the train’s name – that literally means “agreement”. If the train of six sleeper coaches and an AC 3-tier coach can settle the 1971 war, its resumption passes out a message that the storm may have passed, and it is time for peace and normalcy.