Visa Issue May Delay Bus To Lahore

New Delhi, June 26: | Updated: Jun 27 2003, 05:30am hrs
After successful technical meeting for resumption of Delhi-Lahore bus service, the crew members of the Indian side have applied for visas to Pakistan. However, according to sources, so far no Pakistani crew member has applied for the visa.

Speaking to FE, officials said this showed lack of interest by the Pakistani authorities.

The two countries have settled the technical and operational aspects for the resumption of bus service during two-rounds of meeting in New Delhi. Both sides had gone through the protocol, inked in 1999, and found no problems in re-launching the service.

According to protocol, same fare structure would be applicable i.e Rs 800 in Indian currency and Rs 950 in Pakistani currency. While the Indian side has been saying that there is no technical hitch to restart the service, Pakistan has said that it will be delayed. Pakistan on Tuesday said that the resumption of services between two countries was likely to be delayed till August and cited visa and security issues as causes of the delay.

The Lahore-Delhi bus service, expected to be launched from July 1, has been delayed due to non-resolution of technical details including the issuance of visas to the passengers by Pakistan and India, minister in-charge for culture and tourism Rais Munir Ahmad had said.

Media had quoted him as saying that recent talks between Indian and Pakistani officials in New Delhi to resume the service were highly successful but several technical details, including issuance of visas, needed to be sorted out. In view of this, the service could either be resumed in July or in August, Mr Ahmad had said.