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Fidayeen threat on Delhi-Lahore friendship bus

The bus service between the two countries was started on March 16, 1999 primarily to enhance people-to-people contacts

Dosti bus service, a low-cost convenient way to travel between Delhi and Lahore, has come under terror threat.Following intelligence inputs received from a foreign agency last Friday of a possible fidayeen attack on Dosti bus service, both the countries have stepped up security measures for the bus service that originates from Delhi on every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and from Lahore every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.With memories of recent terror attack by Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) suicide bomber still etched fresh in minds, both the countries have taken the intelligence alert seriously and beefed up security arrangements on their respective sides. The bomb attack near a restaurant at Wagah border had killed 55 and injured about 200 people who were returning after watching famous Beating Retreat parade.Sources said under the new arrangement, instead of carrying the full journey in a single bus, the passengers will have to get down at the borders of their respective countries cross over the border on foot and board another bus to reach their destination.The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) will take the passengers up to Atari border near Amritsar from where they will cross over through check point to Wagah and board the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) bus to reach Lahore.Similarly, those coming to Delhi from Lahore will have to get down at Wagah border, cross over and board India’s DTC bus to cover the rest of the journey.Not willing to spell out the exact inputs, sources said the threat could be from TTP and Lashkar-e-Toiba as these organisations want to bring the region into international attention and create terror hype before or during US president Barack Obama’s India visit on January 25-26.”The threat perception is very high on the Pakistan side of the bus route that is about 25 kilometres from Wagah. We have checked our standing operating procedures (SOPs) and found them okay yet we are also beefing up the security,” the source said.