Pakistan, India restart cross-border train service

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A policeman checks documents of a passenger traveling with the Samjhota Express at a railway station in eastern Pakistan's Lahore on March 4, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

Pakistan and India on Monday resumed cross-border passenger train service that was suspended due to recent tensions over the last month's suicide attack in the Indian-controlled Kashmir, killing over 40 Indian policemen, officials said.

The "Samjhota Express" train, carrying some 150 passengers, left railway station in Lahore, the capital of Punjab province, for India Monday morning, according to local media.

The train normally runs between the two neighboring countries on Monday and Thursday.

The Pakistan Foreign Ministry announced suspension of the train service on Feb. 28 "in view of the prevailing tensions between Pakistan and India."

However, a cross-border bus service between Lahore and New Delhi, the capital of India, was unaffected.

The Pakistan army said Sunday there had been calm along the Line of Control, the de-facto border between the two neighbors in Kashmir, after heavy exchange of shelling on the night of March 1 and 2.

The Indian firing had killed two Pakistani soldiers and two civilians on Sunday, according to Pakistan army.

Skirmishes broke out along the LoC after India claimed its warplanes bombed a camp of militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in northwest Pakistan on Feb. 26. JeM had claimed responsibility for the attack in Pulwama, a town in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Feb. 14.

In what appears to be a tit-for-tat action, Pakistan army said its air force shot down two Indian fighter jets on Feb. 27 and captured one India pilot. The pilot was later released and handed over to the Indian authorities in what Prime Minister Imran Khan described as a "goodwill for peace."

Reports from the Pakistani side of the LoC said that schools were also reopened on Monday as normalcy returned to the area.

Several countries issued appeals for calm between Pakistan and India, and urged both countries to resolve differences through dialogue.

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