A bus service has been launched between Pakistan and China and it is hoped that this road-link connectivity would enhance people-to-people contacts between the two brotherly countries.
A cross-section of the people from both sides have welcomed the service, stating it is a big step forward towards boosting tourism and mutual exchanges at various levels, says Chinese media.
The bus service is part of an initiative to connect both countries via road under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The Pak-China luxury bus service completed its first journey from Lahore, Pakistan, to Kashgar in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region this month.
The new bus service was launched by the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC)and private Pakistani transport company Shuja Express.
The Lahore-Kashgar bus will run four days a week, between Saturday and Tuesday, while the Kashgar-Lahore bus will run between Tuesday and Friday.
The journey from Lahore to Kashghar takes a total of 36 hours, and the bus will make five stops before it crosses into China at the Khunjrab Pass (Pak-China border). Travelers will require a valid visa and ID card to make the journey.
A one-way ticket from Lahore to Kashgar costs PKR 13,000 (650 RMB) while a round trip totals PKR 23,000 (1,200 RMB). The fare from Kashgar to Lahore is 600 RMB.
The bus service would also provide a chance for Chinese tourists to visit sacred Buddhist sites dating back to the Gandhara era.
It is hoped that this project will further strengthen relations between the two countries and will create an economic boom.