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Monday, April 9, 2007 : 1635 Hrs


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    India, Pak to continue running Samjhauta, Thar Express trains

    Islamabad, April. 9 (PTI): Undaunted by the February bomb attack on Samjhauta Express, India and Pakistan today extended till 2010 a bilateral agreement to run passenger train and freight services between the two countries.

    A six-member Indian railway delegation headed by Advisor Traffic, Suhbas Ranjan Thakur, signed an agreement with his Pakistani counterpart extending the bilateral pact on running the Samjhauta Express between Lahore and New Delhi and Thar Express between Khokhrapar and Munabao for the next three years.

    The pact also includes continuing the freight services till 2010, Thakur told PTI here.

    The Indian delegation also called on Pakistan Railway Minister Sheikh Rashid, who criticised the Indian Railway's handling of the bomb explosions on Samjhauta Express in which 67 passengers, mostly Pakistanis, were killed.

    Rashid told the media later that the two countries decided to go ahead with the train services despite the setback and that he discussed some of the concerns of the Pakistani side in this regard.

    Thakur said that one of the main decisions taken in the aftermath of Samjhauta bomb attack was that no one would be permitted to travel without reservation in both trains carrying about 150 passengers each.

    Also, a full list of passengers with proper details would be maintained, considering that there was confusion over the identity of some passengers who were killed in the Samjhauta tragedy. The security aspects would be separately discussed between Pakistani and the Indian High Commission officials here, Thakur said.


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