MUZAFFARABAD - Authorities in Pakistan are planning to launch a bus route from Azad Kashmir town of Mirpur to the British city of Birmingham — 8,000 kilometres away.

The mammoth journey will take travellers through some of the most dangerous areas of Pakistan on their way to Iran, Turkey and Europe before reaching the Midlands city after around eight days, officials said.

Azad Kashmir Transport Minister Tahir Khokhar told AFP fares would be around 20,000 rupees ($210), a fraction of air fares that are typically close to $1,000.

Birmingham has a large population of British Pakistanis, many of whose families originally hail from Mirpur, one of the largest cities in the Azad.

Khokhar said he was confident of passengers’ safety, even though they will pass through Balochistan, which is plagued by militants and sectarian violence.

“Officials in Balochistan have assured me of providing foolproof security,” he said.

Officials have been working on the plans for three months and are in talks with a number of bus companies, Khokhar said, but no date has been set for the service to start.