Days after Pakistan suspended the Delhi-Lahore bus service in the wake of India revoking the special status of J&K, DTC on Monday followed suit by cancelling its operations as well, PTI reported. The decision was taken after Pakistan suspended operations on its side, PTI quoted a senior DTC official as saying.
A Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) bus was scheduled to leave for Lahore on Monday 6 am. “Consequent to Pakistan’s decision to suspend the Delhi-Lahore bus service, DTC is not able to send bus (from Delhi to Lahore) from August 12,” said a statement from DTC.
On Saturday, a Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) bus made its way from Amritsar to Lahore for the last time. The decision to scrap was announced Friday evening.
The PTDC bus used to spend three nights in Amritsar — Friday, Wednesday and Monday — each week and leave for Pakistan on Saturday. Similarly, Indian buses spend three nights in Pakistan. According to Pakistan, these buses will remain suspended for now. The Lahore-Delhi bus service is operated from Ambedkar Stadium terminal near Delhi Gate.
The bus service was first started in February 1999. It was suspended after the 2001 Parliament attack and restarted in July 2003. While few used it to cross the border, with most preferring to travel by foot, the service was more a symbol of diplomatic relations.
The number of people travelling between India and Pakistan has also decreased over the years. A total of 54,559 people had entered India via the Attari-Wagah road link in 2014-15 and 51,213 went to Pakistan the same year. The number of passengers coming from Pakistan reduced to 37,020 in 2018-19, while 40,386 went to Pakistan the same year.
The development comes a day after Indian Railways on Sunday cancelled the Samjhauta Express from its side, which was scheduled to leave Sunday.
“In consequent to Pakistan’s decision to cancel Samjhauta Express 14607/14608 running between Lahore and Atari, the link express train number 14001/14002 running between Delhi and Atari also stands cancelled (sic),” Deepak Kumar, Chief Public Relations Officer of Northern Railway, said.
Islamabad had on Thursday announced it was suspending the bi-weekly Samjhauta train service connecting Lahore and Delhi as part of downgrading of diplomatic ties with India in response to the scrapping special status to Jammu & Kashmir.