Cross-LoC bus, trade remain suspended since March 4

Kashmir Times. Dated: 9/10/2019 2:33:52 AM

SRINAGAR, Sep 9(Agencies): As the relations between India and Pakistan continue to be tense, the weekly Karvan-e-Aman bus and cross-Line of Control (LoC) trade remain suspended, since March 4.
There is no chance of early resumption of Karvan-e-Aman bus, operating between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK), since the situation remained tense between the two nations, official sources said.
Post scrapping of Articles 370 and 35A on August 5 by the Centre and frequent violation of 2003 ceasefire on the LoC and International Border (IB) by Pakistan troops, the tension between two neighbours has increased.
Senior army, police and intelligence officers have also said that large number of militants were waiting in launch pads near the LoC in PoK, to sneak into this side before the infiltration routes were closed.
Only state subjects from both sides were eligible to travel in the bus, they said, adding that now, the state subject is no more valid/required after scrapping of Article 370, the fate of the service is uncertain.
On March 4, the bus service was suspended after a message was received from PoK that some repair work of Aman Setu, peace bridge at Kaman post, the last Indian military post at Uri was on. However, the bus service was not resumed, though no reason was later given.
Residents from both the sides who got stranded after the bus service was suspended on March 4 were allowed to cross LoC and return to their homes though no fresh guest from any side was allowed.
The bus service was introduced on April 7, 2005 to help families divided in 1947 due to partition to meet each other.
India and Pak took this decision and agreed to allow travel of divided families on Travel Permits instead of International Passports.
The bus has helped thousands of divided families to meet each other. Despite opposition by the militants, almost all separatist leaders, barring hardline Hurriyat Conference (HC) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Democratic Freedom Party (DPF) chief Shabir Ahmad Shah, travel in the bus to PoK.



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