New Delhi: The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) on Monday suspended the Delhi-Lahore bus service, following Pakistan’s decision to discontinue the friendship bus service in the wake of abrogation of Article 370. As a result, all buses from Delhi to Lahore were cancelled as of August 12.
“Consequent to Pakistan’s decision to suspend the Delhi-Lahore ‘Sada-e-Sarhad’ bus service, DTC is not able to send bus (from Delhi to Lahore) from August 12,” said a statement from DTC.
Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) had informed DTC on phone on Saturday about the suspension of the service from Monday.
Earlier, a DTC bus was scheduled to leave for Lahore at 6 AM on Monday. However, it did not leave after a senior official from the public transporter made the announcement. The bus service did not operate on Sunday as well.
A senior Pakistan minister had announced the suspension on Saturday, shortly after it terminated the services of Thar Express, the weekly passenger train that connects Khokhrapar in Pakistan with Munabao in Barmer district of Rajasthan.
The Sada-e-Sarhad bus service was first started in February 1999 as a step towards better relations between the two countries. However, it was suspended briefly after the 2001 Parliament attack and restarted in July 2003.
On Thursday, Pakistan had also announced that it will suspend Samjhauta Express, the bi-weekly train that connects Delhi in India to Lahore in Pakistan. Those who had already brought Samjhota Express tickets would be refunded without any deduction, it had said.
However, a lesser number of people availed the bus service after the Pulwama terrorist attack and Balakot surgical strike in February this year that worsened the bilateral relation between the two countries.