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Indian bus with 39 people reaches Lahore

The two countries opened the first road link to enhance people-to-people contact.

india Updated: Jan 24, 2006 23:22 IST

A bus carrying 39 Indian passengers arrived in the Pakistani city of Lahore from Amritsar on Tuesday.

India and Pakistanopened the first road link between the two sides of Punjab in an effort to enhance people-to-people contact.

Pakistan's Punjab province Tourism Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal along with dozens of locals welcomed the passengers at the Wagah border crossing.

Expressing his delight at the arrival of the Indian passengers, Iqbal said his country would do everything it could to make them comfortable.

This is the third road link between the two countries after the Delhi-Lahore and Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus services.

Earlier on Tuesday, the bus was flagged off by Indian Punjab's Deputy Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal from Amritsar.

The Amritsar-Lahore bus service would be rediscovery of an emotional connection between the "twin" cities and is of great significance as thousands of families in both countries were separated by 1947 partition.

The Indian Bus of Punjab Roadways, named Punj-Aab (after the five rivers) had conducted trail run on December 11 and Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation had undertaken its trial run from Lahore on December 13 last year.

Prominent Indian officials, who travelled by the 45-seater luxury Volvo bus which would return from Pakistan tomorrow, include Punjab Transport Minister Mohinder Singh Kapyee, Punjab Excise and Taxation Minister Sardool Singh, Deputy Speaker of Punjab State Assembly Darbari Lal, Transport Secretary AK Talwar, Director Transport Narinderjit Singh and State Transport Commissioner Iqbal Singh Sidhu.

First Published: Jan 24, 2006 17:31 IST