Attari: Pakistan has suspended the Samjhauta Express train service between Pakistan and India until further notice stranding several passengers in Lahore railway station amid rising tension between the two countries. 

On Wednesday, the Samjhauta Express took off from New Delhi as per schedule. However, the train was halted at Attari after Pakistan suspended its services at its end.

Attari is the last station on the Indian side. 

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According to DawnNewsTV, the biweekly train, which has six sleeper coaches and an AC 3-tier coach, was scheduled to depart from Lahore with 16 passengers.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal earlier Wednesday said, "We have not received any instructions from authorities about any change in the running of the Samjhauta Express. We will follow all instructions given to us in this regard." 

Originally, the train offered a through service with one rake going all the way between the terminals - Delhi in India to Lahore in Pakistan. However, now a Pakistani rake stops at Attari at which point passengers have to change trains and board an Indian rake.

Sources said the footfall on the Samjhauta Express, named after the Hindi word for "agreement", which generally records an occupancy of around 70%, has fallen drastically post the Pulwama attack by a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist on February 14 in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed. 

On February 26, India carried out air strikes against the biggest training camp of JeM in Balakot. In the operation, a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis who were being trained for suicide attacks were eliminated. The facility at Balakot was headed by Yousuf Azhar, the brother-in-law of the JeM chief.

Pakistan had shut down all of its airports and airspace affecting the International flights that transit between Indian and Pakistani airspace. 

In Karachi, an emergency has been imposed on administrative levels. Moreover, several areas in Pakistan, including Gilgit-Baltistan Islamabad's E Sector, Lahore Cantonment, Sialkot Cantonment, Karachi Cantonment, Pasni coastline and Okara Cantonment, parts of Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) and the Line of Control (LoC), are witnessing power outages. 

With PTI inputs