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Amritsar - Lahore Bus Service (Read 5392 times)
Davinder Singh
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Amritsar - Lahore Bus Service
11. May 2005 at 22:50
 

 
Wednesday May 11, 01:59 PM
No decision on date for Lahore-Amritsar bus    
By Indo-Asian News Service  
 
 
Islamabad, May 11 (IANS) India and Pakistan failed to reach an agreement on the date for starting a Lahore-Amritsar bus service after two days of talks that concluded here Wednesday.  
 
The two sides decided to meet again in New Delhi "in two months time", a joint statement issued at the end of the talks said.  
 
"The two sides discussed the modalities for operationalisation of the Lahore-Amritsar bus service including the designated route, bus terminals, facilities for the bus crew, modalities of visa arrangements and a Protocol/MOU for the Lahore-Amritsar bus service", the statement said.  
 
"The next meeting for the technical level talks would be held in New Delhi in two months time", it added.  
 
The New Delhi meeting will also discuss the modalities of starting a bus service between Amritsar and the Sikh pilgrimage town of Nankana Sahib in Pakistan. A decision in principle to start the service was taken at the meeting here.  
 
Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had, during their meeting in New Delhi last month, decided to begin the Lahore-Amritsar service to facilitate people-to-people contacts between the two countries.  
 
The Pakistan delegation to the talks was led by Mohammad Abbas, additional secretary in communications ministry, and the Indian delegation by Alok Rawat, joint secretary, Department of Road Transport and Highways.  
 
"The meeting was held in a friendly and cordial atmosphere", the statement said, adding that the Indian delegation also called on Pakistani Communications Minister Muhammad Shamim Siddiqui.  
 
The Lahore-Amritsar bus, when it begins, will be the fourth overland service between Pakistan and India after the Lahore-Delhi and Muzaffarabad-Srinagar bus services and the Lahore-Atari Samjhauta Express that provides an onward connection to Delhi.  
 
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Davinder Singh
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Re: Amritsar - Lahore Bus Service
Reply #1 - 29. May 2005 at 01:05
 
Punjab favours Pak visa counter for pilgrims in
Amritsar  
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service  
 
Chandigarh, May 27
While Pakistan is keen that its pilgrims intending to
visit shrines in India should also have the facility
of a bus service like the proposed one between
Amritsar and Nankana Sahib for Indian pilgrims, the
Punjab Government favours the setting up of a regular
visa issuance counter by Pakistan in Amritsar or on
the Wagah border.  
 
Informed sources said that the matter regarding the
visa counter for pilgrims was raised at the last
meeting of Indian and Pakistani officials held in
Islamabad on May 10 and 11. It will now be taken up
with the Pakistan Government through the Union
External Affairs Ministry, it is learnt.
 
There is a proposal to run two buses from the Indian
side. One of these will be from Amritsar to Nankana
Sahib and the other from Amritsar to Lahore and back.
Both proposals came up for discussion at the last
meeting but the modalities are yet to be finalised. It
appears that the bus services between Amritsar and
Nankana Sahib and Amritsar and Lahore will not be
possible before the end of July.  
 
The Punjab Government is not in favour of pilgirms
first going to Delhi to seek visas from the Pakistan
High Commission and then returning to Amritsar to
board the bus for Nankana Sahib or Lahore. This will
not only cause a lot of inconvenience to pilgrims but
also defeat the objective of running the bus services
between the two holy cities. Punjab officers are of
the view that the setting up of the visa counter in
Amritsar will be the right step for the convenience of
pilgrims.  
 
Another issue that has not been settled fully yet
relates to the allowing of foreign nationals to travel
in the buses from Amritsar to Nankana Sahib and
Lahore. There are many NRI Sikhs who hold the
passports of the UK, the USA, Canada and other
countries. According to the Punjab Government
authorities, such NRIs will be keen on travelling by
bus to Nankana Sahib and Lahore from Amritsar.  
 
The sources said that at the last meeting the Pakistan
Government authorities had agreed on this point but
further discussions were required. These issues are
expected to be thrashed out at the next meeting,
proposed to be held before July 11, between officials
of both countries in Delhi.
 
As far as the bus service between Amritsar and Nankana
Sahib is concerned, the Pakistan Government
authorities have conveyed to the Indian delegation
that it would take some time to create the necessary
infrastructure such as sheds for the parking of the
bus and arrangements for the stay of the Indian bus
crew at Nankana Sahib. Pakistan officials are of the
view that there should also be proper arrangements for
the stay of pilgrims and others who wish to stay
outside the religious places there. As Nankana Sahib
is a semi-urban area, the Pakistan Government
authorities have started creating facilities for
pilgrims there to make it an international tourist
centre.  
 
According to the preliminary discussions at the first
meeting, on every Tuesday the Indian bus will leave
from Amritsar for Lahore and return on Wednesday. The
Pakistan bus will depart from Lahore for Amritsar on
Friday and return the next day.  
 
However, the frequency of the bus service between
Amritsar and Nankana Sahib and back has not been
finalised yet. It is also not clear whether the
Pakistan Government is also keen on starting a bus
from Nankana Sahib for Amritsar. A maximum of 46
passengers, including the security and liaison staff
and drivers, will be allowed in the bus from Amritsar
to Lahore and back. The Punjab Government has planned
to buy three buses, one of which will be a standby
vehicle.
 
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Davinder Singh
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Re: Amritsar - Lahore Bus Service
Reply #2 - 01. Aug 2005 at 20:33
 

Any news on when this service is starting?
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Davinder Singh(Guest)
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Re: Amritsar - Lahore Bus Service
Reply #3 - 22. Dec 2005 at 08:13
 
Amritsar-Lahore bus from Jan 20
For Nankana Sahib in Feb  
 
New Delhi, December 21
Taking yet another step to enhance people-to-people contact, India and Pakistan today decided to launch the long-awaited Amritsar-Lahore bus service from January 20 and Amritsar-Nankana Sahib bus link by February 27.
 
The agreements on launching the bus services were signed in Lahore today after the third round of two-day technical-level talks.
 
The Amritsar-Lahore service will be operational once a week with the Pakistani side running the inaugural bus from Lahore to Amritsar on January 20, said a joint statement issued after the talks in Lahore and here simultaneously.
 
The agreement to launch the service was finalised at the second round of technical-level talks held in New Delhi in September.
 
The Indian side will ply its first bus from Amritsar to Lahore on January 24, it said.
 
The Indian bus will ply from Amritsar to Lahore on every Tuesday and return on Wednesday while the Pakistani bus will ply from Lahore to Amritsar on every Friday and return on Saturday.
 
The one-way fare would be Pakistani Rs 900 and Indian Rs 750.
 
The two countries also signed an agreement for the operationalisation of the bus service between Amritsar and Nankana Sahib. The trial run will be conducted on January 27 from Amritsar and on January 29 from Nankana Sahib.
 
Regular operation of the bus service would commence within a month from the trial run.  
 
For the Amritsar-Nankana Sahib bus service, the one-way fare would be Pakistani Rs 1,200 and Indian Rs 1,000. PTI
 
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