M Rafique Zakaria
So much is being said and published in electronic and print media about efforts being done by
Pakistan and Indian government to improve relations between the two countries. Sometimes, we are told that India will open its banks in Pakistan and sometimes we get to hear that multiple visas will be issued to Pakistanis married to Indian nationals and to all businessmen intending to do business in India. Unfortunately the Dosti Bus service operating between Lahore and Delhi does not have a proper departure facility in Lahore since July last year and passengers are asked to come to Wagha border at 0500 hours, early in the morning. People travelling with children and old aged people have to pay thousands of rupees as taxi fare to reach Wagha border from Lahore as majority of passengers going to India are from Karachi and are completely unaware of Lahore roads and do not want to take the risk of travelling at 5 am in a city unknown to them. Before July 2015, Dosti Bus Service used to operate from Faletti’s Hotel in Lahore by Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC). Upon end of contract, PTDC shifted the departure facility to Liberty chowk. When I travelled by bus in September last year, I was told that the departure from Liberty chowk has also been suspended and I will have to report at Wagha border at 5 am which was expensive, hectic and scary. PTDC and Ministry of Tourism are requested to resume Dosti Bus service from Lahore city instead of asking the passengers to report at Wagha border in the wee hours with luggage. Hope PTDC and Tourism Ministry will find a suitable place in Lahore city to build a bus terminal to facilitate both Pakistani and Indian passengers travelling by Dosti Bus service.