India suspends Thar Link Express

Amid escalating tension between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir issue, the Indian government on Friday suspended the weekly Thar Link Express running between Jodhpur-Munabao. The train was scheduled to leave on Friday but after the orders it the rail services have been suspended.

The Thar Link Express departs from Bhagat ki Koti near Jodhpur and reaches Munabao, a village on the India-Pakistan border in Rajasthan.  North Western Railway’s Chief Public Relations Officer Abhay Sharma confirmed, "The train was scheduled to leave on Friday but now it will not take place, the rail services are being suspended till further orders by the Railways,” 

As many as 45 people had booked tickets for this train to go to Pakistan, confirmed the railway Public Relation Officer. Train services on both up and down lines have been suspended till further orders. 

The Thar Express which runs every Friday night resumed its services on February 18, 2006, after 40 years of suspension. Earlier this year, the services were briefly suspended on February 28 after the relations between India and Pakistan became sour in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack.

Earlier on August 9, Pakistan had announced the discontinuation of services of the Thar Express. However, it gave clearance for its last journey to Karachi, which had 165 passengers on board.

The announcement came after Pakistan downgraded diplomatic ties with India after the government revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status and divided the state into two Union territories. 

Before that India had also cancelled the Samjhauta Express from its side. Deepak Kumar, Chief Public Relations Officer of Northern Railway had said, "Pakistan’s cancelled Samjhauta Express 14607/14608 running between Lahore and Atari and the link express train number 14001/ 14002 running between Delhi and Attari also stands cancelled by order by the Indian government".

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