Transport between India and Pakistan
developed for tourism and commercial purposes and bears much
historical and political significance for both countries, which
have possessed few transport links since the partition of India
in 1947. In 1977, both nations
launched the Samjhauta Express
connecting the Indian city of Attari with the
Pakistani city of Lahore.
successful launch of the Delhi-Lahore
Bus in 1999, both nations have worked to established multiple
bus and train services connecting cities across the borders in the
Punjab region and Sindh as well as
between Indian-administered Kashmir and Pakistan-administered Kashmir across the Line of Control (LoC) the boundary line denoting rival areas of
control in the disputed region of
Kashmir, but which is not an official international border.
The partition of India
led to the termination of most transport links between the
newly-independent nations of India and Pakistan after the
cross-migration of peoples was completed by the 1950s. The First Kashmir War had similarly divided
the Himalayan region of Kashmir between the
two rivals, causing termination of road links in the region.
Kashmir and the international border in the divided region of
were major theatres of war
during the Indo-Pakistani Wars
. The train connecting
the Indian city of Jaipur with the
Pakistani city of Karachi across the
Thar Desert was destroyed when the
Pakistani Air Force bombed the
tracks during the 1965 war.
In the 1990s, the Line of Control (LoC) demarcating the informal boundary between Indian-administered Kashmir and Pakistan-administered Kashmir was the scene of exchanges of fire between Pakistani and Indian forces and infiltration of militants into Indian Kashmir. The Kargil War of 1999 broke out when Indian force sought to repel militants and Pakistani soldiers who had infiltrated across the LoC.
As per the
Shimla Agreement of 1972 and in a
bid to restore peaceful ties after the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, both
nations launched the Samjhauta
Express (Samjhauta means "accord" or "compromise" in
Hindi and Urdu, the national languages of India and
Pakistan respectively) connecting the Pakistani city of Lahore with the
Indian town of Attari, which is
close proximity to the city of Amritsar. The Thar Express
was launched to connect the Pakistani city of Karachi through the
Munabao station and
the Indian city of Jaipur through the
Plans and negotiations are underway to launch a train service connecting the Pakistani city of Sialkot with the Indian city of Jammu.
February 18, 2007, 2 carriages of the train experienced alleged
terrorist bombings near Panipat,Haryana in
Samjhauta Express bombings
claimed lives of 68 people. Both the
Indian and Pakistani governments condemned the attack, and
officials on both sides speculated that the perpetrators intended
to disrupt improving relations between the two nations.
Delhi-Lahore Bus is a passenger
bus service connecting the Indian capital of
Delhi with the city of Lahore, Pakistan via the border transit post at Wagah, which is
the only border crossing point between India and Pakistan opened
for international travelers.
The bus was of symbolic
importance to the efforts of the governments of both nations to
foster peaceful and friendly relations. In its inaugural run on
the bus carried the then-Indian
Prime Minister Atal Bihari
, who was to attend a summit in Lahore and was received
by his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz
at Wagah. Its official name is the
Call of the Frontier
). The duration of the entire journey
is 8 hours, covering a distance of 530 km (329 mi). While the bus
service had continued to run during the Kargil War of 1999, it was
suspended in the aftermath of the 2001 Indian Parliament attack on
December 13, 2001, which the Indian government accused Pakistan of
instigating. The bus service was resumed on July
when bilateral relations had
Transport across disputed Kashmir
after a ceasefire in Kashmir improved
bilateral relations, the two governments worked on the proposal for
a bus connecting the city of Srinagar in Indian
Kashmir to the city of Muzaffarabad in Pakistani Kashmir.
The official agreement was promulgated on
February 16, 2005 when the then-Indian Minister of External
Affairs K. Natwar Singh visited Pakistani President Pervez Musharaff in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
The decision was announced along
with agreements on establishing the Thar Express train service. The
bus runs a distance of 183 kilometres and was officially launched
on April 7, 2005 and was flagged-off by the Indian Prime Minister
Dr. Manmohan Singh
. The service was suspended for
some time after 2005 Kashmir
due to aftereffect of road damage.
service connecting Poonch (India) with
Rawalkote (Pakistan) over 55 km was also launched on June 20, 2006.
passenger quota on the Poonch-Rawalkote Bus was doubled.
services connecting Kargil (India) with Skardu (Pakistan), Jammu
(India) with Sialkot (Pakistan) and Mirpur (Pakistan) are also being planned.
The Indian official position viewed the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus
service as a "humanitarian measure without prejudice" and not
affecting the rival policies and stands of the two governments on
the Kashmir conflict. To make the bus safe and fully operational,
the LoC would demined if and where necessary and other security
arrangements would be made as well. Both governments announced that
Indian and Pakistani citizens could travel anywhere in Indian
Kashmir and Pakistani Kashmir, including the Northern Areas of
Pakistan, which are part of India's claim on Kashmir and pre-1947
Kashmir. In India, all citizens would have to apply at the Regional
Passport Office in Srinagar, which was the designated authority to
evaluate applications, verify identities and issue entry
and Pakistan International
, the respective national
run regular flights connecting the Indian cities of
New Delhi and Mumbai with the Pakistani cities of Lahore and
Karachi. However, most flights are routed through a transit point
in the Middle East