A new bus service that would travel almost 4000 miles between Birmingham in Britain and Mirpur in Pakistan-administered Jammu Kashmir was recently announced.
The new service, which promises to be Britain’s longest bus route, will cover seven countries including Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkey, Serbia and Belgium. The bus will take 12 days to reach its destination and passengers will be charged ?130 (?11286) for a ticket.
The new commute was planned keeping in mind the historical and family ties between West Midlands and Mirpur, Telegraph reports.
Mirpur is one of the largest cities in the Pakistan-administered part of the state and is situated in the north-east of Pakistan at the foothills of the Himalayas. A majority of Kashmiri expatriates are settled in the Midlands and north of England because of which Mirpur is sometimes called as “Little England”.
Tahir Khokher, Mirpur’s transport minister, said that the route will have two stopovers – one at Quetta, near the Afghan border and other in the Iranian capital of Tehran. He also promised a “thrilling ride with arrangements for sightseeing, campaigning and restauranteering,” according to Birmingham Mail.
Khokher said that the new service would also strengthen the relationship between the two cities and would also boost tourism.
“We are a little behind schedule with our plans because of negotiations with transport companies and bureaucratic hold-ups. But we are proposing to run four luxury buses once a fortnight,” Khokherc told Birmingham Mail.
“The PaK government will also set up a swift counter system to hasten the visa process for those who don’t have a British passport,” he added.
On Sunday night, Khalid Mahmood, a Birmingham Labour MP, welcomed the plan and also said that move will help form closer ties.
“I think it’s a great idea that will bring the two cities closer together and be a real life experience, particularly for younger people both here and in Kashmir,” he said, “I’m sure the service would prove very popular, especially with average air fares to Pakistan being about ?600,” Mahmood was quoted saying by Telegraph.