Islamabad: Pakistan on Friday summoned the Indian Charge d’affaires here to the foreign ministry to convey its severe disappointment at the Indian government’s failure to bring to justice the perpetrators of the Samjhauta Express train blast in 2007, the Foreign Office said in a statement issued here on the 15th anniversary of the incident.
On February 18, 2007, an explosion occurred on the Samjhauta train which runs between Delhi and Lahore at Panipat in Haryana, killing at least 68 people, including 43 Pakistan citizens, 10 Indian citizens and 15 unidentified people.
Both India and Pakistan governments had condemned the attack, with officials on both sides speculating that the perpetrators had intended to disrupt the ongoing peace process, since the attack had come a day before the then Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri was to arrive in New Delhi.
On Friday, the Indian Charge d’affaires was conveyed Pakistan’s severe disappointment at Indian government’s callousness towards the plight of the families of the Pakistani nationals who await justice even after the passage of fifteen years, according to the Foreign Office statement.
Pakistan also demanded India to conduct a fair trial and for bringing the perpetrators and abettors of Samjhauta Express terrorist attack to justice, the statement said.
Haryana Police initially registered an FIR in the case, but the Ministry of Home Affairs subsequently transferred the probe to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in July 2010.
In 2019, a NIA Special Court acquitted all four accused in the case.
Samjhauta Express, which started in July 1976 to improve people-to-people connect between the two countries after the Simla Agreement, has been stopped whenever relations between India and Pakistan got strained.
In August, 2019, Islamabad had announced that it was suspending the bi-weekly Samjhauta train service as part of downgrading of diplomatic ties with India in response to the scrapping of the special status to Jammu & Kashmir.
The train, named after the Hindi word for agreement , comprises six sleeper coaches and an AC 3-tier coach.
The train service was started on July 22, 1976 under the Simla Agreement that settled the 1971 war between the two nations. PTI