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Indian delegation in Pak to hold talks on second bus link

By K J M Varma in Islamabad
March 08, 2004 21:36 IST
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An eight-member Indian delegation arrived in Islamabad on Monday to hold talks with their Pakistani counterparts on starting a bus service between Rajasthan and Sindh province.

Led by Ashok Rawat, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, the Indian delegation comprises officials from the Ministry of External Affairs and the Rajasthan government.

On Tuesday, Indian and Pakistani officials will begin the two-day talks to discuss modalities for the bus link between Munabao (in Rajasthan) and Khokrapar. As of now there is one bus service between India and Pakistan, which operates between Delhi and Lahore.

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A separate Indian delegation would visit Islamabad on March 29 to discuss modalities to run the Srinagar-Muzzafarabad bus service.

The meetings are a follow-up to the agreement between the two countries announced on October 22, 2003 to start these services as part of a series of confidence-building measures to normalise relations.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Masood Khan told a media briefing in Islamabad that India has asked for increase of flights and to run special rail and bus services to enable about 8,000 cricket fans to travel to Pakistan.

The Pakistan government has referred the Indian request to the concerned departments and a response would be given shortly, he said. "There is lot of interest in these cricket matches and lot of people would like to come to Pakistan from India."

Khan also said Pakistan is still considering the Indian proposal, made in February, to open a visa camp at Karachi to cater to the heavy demand.
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K J M Varma in Islamabad
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