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Delhi-Lahore bus service: Carrying passengers and hope amid strained ties

twitter-logoPTI | August 8, 2019 | Updated 20:52 IST

New Delhi, Aug 8 (PTI) The bus service between Lahore and Delhi has continued uninterrupted despite the strain in Indo-Pak ties following the scrapping of the provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution, which gave special powers to Jammu and Kashmir. Though Pakistan stopped Samjhauta Express at Wagah Border, citing security concerns, a Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation bus left Delhi for Lahore with four passengers at 6am on Thursday. An Indian crew and guard escorted the train, named after the Hindi word "agreement", to Attari station on the India side of the border with Pakistan, according to railway officials. Delhi Transport Corporation officials said a DTC bus is scheduled to leave for Lahore at 6am on Friday. "The bus is almost full. Around 36-37 tickets are booked on the bus having a capacity for 40 passengers," said a DTC official. On Thursday evening, a bus carrying three passengers from Lahore reached Delhi, he said. Asked if the bus service was affected due to the strain in ties between India and Pakistan, DTC managing director Manoj Kumar told PTI, "We do not have any information so far." The international bus service is operated from Ambedkar Stadium terminal near Delhi Gate. DTC buses ply every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and PTDC buses every Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday, from Delhi to Lahore. For the return trip, DTC buses leave Lahore every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday whereas the PTDC buses are available on every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The bus service had continued with a depleted number of passengers even when bilateral relations had worsened following the Pulwama terrorist attack and Balakot surgical strikes in February this year. The service was first started in February 1999 but suspended after the 2001 Parliament attack. It was restarted in July 2003. PTI VIT VIT ABH ABH

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