//First India bus arrives in Lahore

First India bus arrives in Lahore

The first Indian bus linking divided Punjab has arrived from Amritsar in the Pakistani city of Lahore.

Thirty-six passengers and three crew aboard the vehicle were greeted by traditional bhangra music and showered with rose petals as they alighted.

Punjab state transport minister Mohinder Singh Kepi, who is heading a team of 16 officials, said the direct link "augurs well for the future".

This is the rivals’ third such link and is seen as a symbol of peace.

India and Pakistan restarted a Delhi to Lahore service in 2003 and a route across the disputed and divided region of Kashmir began in April last year.

Bus diplomacy A regular service linking Amritsar with Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Sikh faith founder Guru Nanak, in Pakistan’s Punjab province is due to begin this year.

A senior Pakistan communication ministry official, Mohammad Abbas, confirmed that a trial run along the route is set for Friday.

Divided Punjab was linked for the first time since partition in 1947 last Friday, when a bus left Lahore for Amritsar and returned the following day.

The bus diplomacy is one of the more tangible elements of the two-year peace process between India and Pakistan, who have yet to make progress on the core dispute over divided Kashmir.