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DTC cancels Delhi-Lahore bus service after Pak suspends it

NEW DELHI: DTC on Monday cancelled the Delhi-Lahore bus service as Pakistan has decided to discontinue it in the wake of India revoking J&K's special status, said a senior official from the public transporter. On Saturday, a senior Pakistani minister had announced to suspend the friendship bus service from Monday.

A Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) bus was scheduled to leave for Lahore on Monday at 6 am. However, it did not leave due to the Pakistan's decision to suspend the bus service, the official said. "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. Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) had on Saturday also telephonically informed the DTC about suspension of the service from Monday.

The last bus for Lahore left Delhi on Saturday morning carrying two passengers while the return bus from the other side reached the national capital carrying 19 passengers in the evening of the same day. The bus service did not operate on Sunday.

The Delhi-Lahore bus service was first started in February 1999 but suspended after 2001 Parliament attack. It was restarted in July 2003. The bus service was first started in February 1999 but suspended after 2001 Parliament attack. It was restarted in July 2003.

It had, however, continued with a depleted number of passengers even when bilateral relations between the two countries had worsened following the Pulwama terrorist attack and Balakot surgical strikes in February this year. The Lahore-Delhi bus service is operated from Ambedkar Stadium terminal near Delhi Gate.

DTC buses ply every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and PTDC buses every Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday, from Delhi to Lahore. For the return trip, DTC buses leave Lahore every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday whereas the PTDC buses are available every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

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 suspended Samjhauta Express from its side, which was scheduled to leave on Sunday.

Islamabad had on Thursday suspended 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.

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