Amritsar-Lahore bus stops due to border tension
Amritsar: You can no longer ride to Lahore, for some time at least. Following the rise in tension between India and Pakistan, uncertainty prevails over the plying of ‘Punj-Aab’ bus between Amritsar and Lahore and Amritsar and Nankana Sahib. with a senior official saying that the bus had been suspended for now. The bus that runs every Tuesday and Friday didn’t leave Amritsar on Tuesday.
From the other side, not a single occupant was there in the Pakistan’s bus ‘Dosti’ that reached Wagah from Lahore as per its schedule yesterday. The bus left with no passenger today. General Manager-1, Punjab Roadways, Inderjit Singh Chawla said the ‘Punj-Aab’ schedule was suspended due to high tension prevailing on the Attari-Wagah border. We may resume the service from the next Tuesday after taking into account the situation. Till now, we have received booking of only one passenger,” he said.
However, the Delhi-Lahore bus, officially known as ‘Sada-e-Sarhad’ continued its 500-km service from Delhi to Attari border through Attari-Wagah joint check-post (JCP). It carried 15 passengers, all from Pakistan, on Friday.
The ‘Sada-e-Sarhad’ service was begun in 1999, with the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee travelling on its inaugural run. The bus continued through the Kargil war, was halted in the aftermath of the December 2001 Parliament attack, resumed in October 2003, and continued through the crisis of 2008. It now operates six days a week.
The ‘Punj-Aab’ (symbolising five rivers of joint Punjab of pre-Partition era) was flagged off by the then PM Dr Manmohan Singh on March 24, 2006. The bus runs between Amritsar and Nankana Sahib, the birth place of Guru Nanak Dev. The Amritsar-Lahore service was started on January 24, 2006. Amid fear of terror strikes, the Pakistan government had restricted the movement of ‘Sada-e Sarhad,’ ‘Punj-Aab’ and ‘Dosti’ buses up to the Wagah border in Pakistan, instead of going up to Lahore, since January 1, 2015. The Pakistan bus too does not go beyond Attari, JCP.