China and Pakistan will launch a new bus service through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) under the so called ‘China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’ (CPEC) project, media reports in Pakistan said.
The $50 billion so called ‘CPEC’, launched in 2015, is a planned network of roads, railways and energy projects linking China’s resource-rich Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region with Balochistan’s Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea.
India has protested the so called ‘CPEC’ project as it runs through PoK, which India maintains is part of Jammu and Kashmir, its northernmost state, and therefore Indian territory.
The bus service to be started by a private transport company will be officially launched on November 13 and will operate between Lahore in Pakistan and Kashgar in China, Islamabad’s state-run Radio Pakistan reported.
The 30-hour journey between the two destinations will cost Rs. 13,000 while the return ticket will be for Rs. 23,000. The bookings have already begun, it said.
The bus service plans to boost the friendly relations between the two countries, according to the CEO of the company Muhammad Anwar.
Anyone with a valid Chinese visa and other identity documents can buy a ticket.
Pakistan and China don’t share a border. Pakistan’s only link to China is through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). It is India and Afghanistan who share a border, now cut-off by Pakistan’s forceful occupation of PoK.
The bus service will run four days a week from Lahore to Tashkurgan, another Pakistani media report said.
The departure from Lahore would be on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday while departure from Tashkurgan would be Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Pakistan’s ‘The News’ reported.
The passengers can book their seats either from Lahore or Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
“It offers premium and luxurious buses, comfortable journey, better en-route services that include breakfast, lunch, dinner refreshment beverages, tea, and snacks, while fast Wi-Fi service would also provided throughout the journey,” the report claimed.