China-Pakistan bus service launched, leaves Lahore

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

ANI Lahore, Pakistan Nov 06, 2018, 07.42 AM (IST)

A private bus service between Lahore in Pakistan and Kashgar in China was launched on late Monday night.

The first bus left for Kashgar from the Lahore terminal in Gulberg area.

It will cover the one-way journey in two days (30 hours), Dunyanews reported.

The bus service was slated to launch on November 3 but was postponed due to security reasons.

Passengers availing the service will have to shell out PKR 23,000 per ticket for a round trip, while a one-way ticket from Lahore to Kashgar will cost PKR 13,000 per person. Similarly, a one-way ticket from Kashgar to Lahore will cost RMB 600 per seat.

During the two-day journey, the passengers will have multiple stops, including one at Islamabad or Rawalpindi to pick passengers, and scheduled stops at Mansehra for breakfast, Besham for lunch, Chelas for tea and Gilgit for dinner on a trip from Lahore to Kashgar on the first day.

On the second day of the journey, a breakfast halt will be made at Sost before heading towards the Sost border for immigration, customs, and lunch.

The bus will cross over to China through the Khunjerab Pass at the Pakistan-China border, where checking will take place twice -- once on the Pakistani side and once on the Chinese side.

To avail the service, passengers have been asked to carry a valid passport, visa and a return ticket as travel documents. Baggage of not more than 20 kg will be allowed.

Special arrangements have been made for the security of the passengers and the service, while the driver will have all information to contact security guards at various check posts.

On November 1, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar asserted that any bus service between Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and China is a violation of India`s sovereignty.

While addressing the weekly MEA press briefing, Kumar had said, "We have lodged a strong protest with China and Pakistan on the proposed bus service that will operate from Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir to China under so-called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Any such bus service through areas occupied by Pakistan will be a violation of India`s sovereignty and territoriality."