Bookings on bus to Lahore unaffected by travel advisory

December 27th, 2008 - 4:59 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 27 (IANS) The New Delhi-Lahore bus service has not been affected by the external affairs ministry’s advisory asking Indians not to travel to the neighbouring country, an official said Saturday.“The number of passengers going to Pakistan in the bus has not decreased. Yesterday 38 people travelled to Lahore in the bus with a capacity of 42, while 22 came from Pakistan. This is almost the same as earlier. There has been no impact of the advisory till now. The number of future bookings has also not reduced,” Ramesh Sharma, in charge of bookings for the bus service, told IANS.

The New Delhi-Lahore bus service was started in 1999 to enable easier travel between the two countries. It continued during the Kargil conflict in 1999 but was stopped after the attack on Indian parliament in 2001. However, the bus service was resumed in 2003 with the improvement in bilateral relations between the two countries.

On Friday, India issued an advisory against travel to Pakistan following the reported arrest of several Indians in the country, who had been charged with terrorism.

“There have been reports in the Pakistani media that several Indian nationals have been arrested over the last two days in Lahore and Multan, and are being accused of being terrorists,” an external affairs ministry spokesman said.

“Since it has also been reported in the Pakistani media Thursday that the senior police officer in Lahore was unaware of the arrest in his city, it seems that this is the work of other agencies in Pakistan that operate outside the law and civilian control.

“Indian citizens are therefore advised that it would be unsafe for them to travel or be in Pakistan,” the spokesman added.

Tensions between the two countries have heightened since the Nov 26-29 Mumbai carnage that claimed more than 170 lives and that India has blamed on Pakistani terrorists.

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