India suspends Thar Link Express
India suspended weekly Jodhpur-Munabao Thar Link Express amid the ongoing tension with Pakistan over the Kashmir issue. This move comes days after India cancelled Samjhauta Express from its side after Pakistan had announced suspension of all train services to India.
About Thar Express
It is Indian portion of international passenger train operated weekly (every Saturday morning) by Indian Railway using its own coaches and locomotives, between Jodhpur and Munabao in India. Passengers from Munabao (Rajastan) after clearing customs are transported to across border to Zero Point station where Thar Express takes passengers to Karachi, Pakistan via Munabao (India)-Khokhrapar (Pakistan’s Sindh province) border crossing. It carries only passengers and not goods.
Background: The agreement to link two countries by rail service through Munabao-Khokhrapar link was signed in 2006 with aim to facilitate people-to-people contact. It was revived after gap 41 years after Munabao-Khokhrapar rail link was destroyed during 1965 war between two countries. This agreement was extended in 2018 for three years till January 31, 2021. According to estimates, over 4 lakh passengers from both countries have taken train in the past 13 years.
About Samjhauta Express
It is another passenger train running between India and Pakistan. It runs from Delhi to Attari on Indian side and from Lahore to Wagah on the Pakistan side. Its service was started in 1976 following Shimla Agreement.