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SAARC car rally enroute to Pak

SAARC car rally enroute to Pak

The first SAARC reached Chandigarh and will cross over to Pakistan from the Wagah land border.

Chandigarh: To the beat of the drum and music by a police band, the first SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) car rally reached the city Tuesday evening.

The 30-car rally, which had left Cox's Bazaar in Bangladesh March 15, will cross over to Pakistan on Wednesday from the Wagah land border check post between India and Pakistan.

The rally arrived here behind schedule with participants - drawn from all SAARC countries - attributing the delay to the numerous stoppages they have had to make en route to Chandigarh to reciprocate the greetings of the people.

"We had to stop at so many places to acknowledge the love of people. They turned out in good numbers at various places, especially villages," said one participant.

The rally will resume its 250-km journey to Wagah border Wednesday morning.

The rally is being organised to bring people of SAARC countries closer. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had proposed holding the rally during the last summit in Dhaka.

The rally - comprising Tata Safari sports utility vehicles (SUVs) - will reach Delhi April 1 and be given a ceremonial flag-off by heads of SAARC nations during their summit meeting in New Delhi.

The car rally will culminate at Maldives April 14.

first published:March 27, 2007, 23:43 IST