India, Pakistan To Launch Srinagar-Muzaffarabad Bus From April 7
16 February 2005
The Indian Express
Islamabad: In significant steps enhancing people-to-people contacts, India and Pakistan today agreed to start the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service from April 7 and decided on a series of confidence building measures that included reducing risk of use of nuclear weapons. After talks between External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Khurshid M Kasuri, it was announced that the two countries would also resume the rail service between Munabaon (Rajasthan) and Kokharapar from October this year and launch a new bus link between Amritsar and Lahore. Addressing a press conference with Kasuri by his side, Singh said that travel by the bus service between the two Kashmiris will be by the entry permit system once identification is verified. The travel by the service will be by the entry permit system once identifications are verified, Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid M Kasuri told a joint press conference with visiting External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh. Kasuri said the application forms for the travel across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir will be available with designated authorities in Srinagar and Muzaffarabad. Singh said he had told the Pakistani leaders to expedite work on Khokrapar-Munnabao rail link between Sindh and Rajasthan so that the service could be launched in October this year. Singh said he impressed upon his Pakistani counterpart the need to release apprehended fishermen along with their boats. Declaring that the two countries had 'come a long way' over the last one year, the External Affairs Minister said the two sides were looking forward to the upcoming joint study group meeting on trade and commerce in New Delhi on February 22 and 23.