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Pak-China luxury bus service launched from Lahore to Kashgar

Press Trust of India  |  Islamabad 

Notwithstanding India's objection, and have launched a luxury bus service passing through PoK from to city in China's province.

The Kashgar-bound bus left on its maiden journey from Gulberg in on Monday night. It is part of an initiative to connect the two countries via road under the USD 60 billion China-Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The bus service was to begin on last Saturday but was rescheduled for Monday midnight following widespread protests by radical Islamists over the acquittal of Christian woman in a blasphemy case.

of Economic Forum Humayun Iqbal Shami called it a big day in relations between Pakistan and

"The countries which carry better and convenient means of communication between them have more opportunities of strengthening people-to-people contacts," he said.

The bus will take 36 hours from to reach the province in China's far west.

The Lahore-bus will run four days - Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday - a week from Lahore and will be available from on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

The bus will have five stopovers before crossing into at Khunjerab and will require a valid visa and ID card.

The one-way fare is Rs 13,000, while a round trip will cost Rs 23,000.

A private bus service - Shuja Express - is plying 15-seater luxurious buses on the route. Passengers are allowed 20 kilogramme of luggage and will be charged more in case of additional weight. The cost of and rest area in Gilgit is included in the ticket price.

Earlier, lodged strong protests with China and Pakistan over the proposed bus service between the two countries through Pakistan-occupied (PoK).

defended the bus service, saying its cooperation with has nothing to do with the territorial dispute and will not change its principled stance on the issue.

Pakistan rejected protests by against the bus service to China.

"We reject the Indian Ministry of External Affairs' (MEA) purported protest and statement regarding bus service through China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)," said.

Launched in 2015, the CPEC is a planned network of roads, railways and linking China's resource-rich Uyghur Autonomous Region with Pakistan's strategic on the

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, November 06 2018. 20:05 IST