Tuesday 17 September 2019

Pakistan suspends key rail link with India amid Kashmir dispute

The latest move comes a day after Pakistan downgraded its diplomatic ties with India and suspended trade.

(Channi Anand/AP)
(Channi Anand/AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

Pakistan says it has suspended a key train service with neighbouring India over a change in Kashmir’s special status by New Delhi.

Railways minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad said the Express, or Friendship Express, train service is suspended from Thursday.

It comes a day after Pakistan downgraded diplomatic ties with India and suspended trade in response to New Delhi’s decision to reduce the special status of Kashmir, a Himalayan region claimed by both countries.

The railway suspension announcement was made as passengers were waiting to board a train in the eastern city of Lahore to travel to India.

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Paramilitary soldiers patrol during curfew in Srinagar (Dar Yasin/AP)

Meanwhile, an opposition activist has filed a petition in India’s top court challenging the communications blackout and security clampdown in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir, where people remain holed up in their homes for a fourth day.

State-run All India Radio said security agencies have arrested more than 500 people in the region apparently to prevent any outbreak of violence.

India’s government this week revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and downgraded the Himalayan region from statehood to a territory.

Muslim-majority Kashmir is claimed in full by both India and Pakistan, and rebels have been fighting Indian rule in the portion it administers for decades.

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