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Cross-LoC bus resumes, trade from today
SRINAGAR, Aug 7: The Karwan-e-Aman bus service, operating between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad of Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PAK) resumed today after remaining suspended last week.

The cross-Line of Control (LoC) trade is likely to resume from tomorrow after remaining suspended since July 21, when over 60 kg of drugs were recovered from a PAK truck at Trade Facilitation Centre (TFC) in Uri.

Though some leaders of BJP, a coalition partner in the coalition government with PDP demanded suspension of the trade, the chief minister Mehbooba Mufti has said that she will not allow trade between the two parts to be derailed and pitched for opening more trade routes between Jammu and Kashmir and PAK.

The weekly bus was suspended on July 31 between the two sides after a message was received from Pakistan that there is a holiday in PAK on account of 14th death anniversary of founding president of PAK Sardar Mohammad Ibrahim Khan.

However, the peace bus left here this morning for Kaman post, the last Indian military post on this side of the LoC in Uri sector, official sources said.

All the passengers who were scheduled to travel last week have been accommodated in the bus today, he said.

Sources said that the PAK residents who could not travel in Poonch-Rawlakote bus after the service remained suspended for about four week also boarded the bus here to travel return to their houses.

The bus service, a major Confidence Building Measure (CBM) between India and Pakistan after 1999 Kargil War, continued despite unrest in Kashmir in 2016 and tension on the LoC, due to ceasefire violation and subsequent surgical strike by Indian troops in the PAK.

The cross-LoC bus service started on April 7, 2005 despite opposition by militant organisations has helped thousands of families, divided in 1947 due to partition, to meet each other after India and Pakistan agreed to allow travel of state subjects from both sides on travel permits, instead of international passport.

The travel permit is issued to the state subject from both sides of the LoC, only after their names are cleared by the intelligence agencies from India and Pakistan.

However, only state subjects from both sides can avail the cross-LoC bus facility.

The spokesperson said that the PAK delegation was also briefed about the investigation being carried by police in the narcotics case.

“They (PAK officials) assured that they would improve the mechanism of checking/scanning at Trade Centre Chakhoti so that such incidents are prevented in future”, he said.

News Updated at : Tuesday, August 8, 2017
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