Travel resumes across Line of Control

January 29, 2013 - 1:22:54 am

Passengers board a bus belonging to the Jammu and Kashmir state government for Pakistan-administered Kashmir, at the Chakan-da-Bagh outpost near Poonch, some 250km from Jammu, the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir, yesterday. 

Jammu: Travel across the the Line of Control (LoC) that divides Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan resumed yesterday after being suspended due to tension following the January 8 killing of two Indian soldiers. Trade will resume today, an official 

said here.

More than 150 people, stranded on either side, were cleared. While 85 people, who had come here to meet relatives and overstayed due to the tension along the LoC, returned home, 68 Indians crossed over to this side. 

“As of now, there is no indication as to when fresh passengers will start coming from either of the two sides of the LoC,” an official told IANS on phone from Poonch.

“We are clearing the backlog first,” the official said. 

The cross-LoC travel takes place every Monday. There were 109 people from across the LoC in Poonch and Rajouri districts when trouble broke out on January 8. This travel to unite divided families was one of the confidence building measures (CBMs) that began in 2005 from Salamabad to Chakoti in Kashmir Valley and Chakan-da-Bagh to Rawalakot in Poonch district of Jammu region.

Trade, which will resume today, takes place every week from Tuesday to Friday. Goods worth Rs20m are traded every day with about 25 trucks crossing over. 

Trade was halted on January 10 when Indian officials said Pakistan did not open gates for the trucks at Chakan-da-Bagh.

India-Pakistan relations took a hit after New Delhi accused Pakistani troops of brutally killing two Indian soldiers along the LoC on January 8 and beheading one of them.

Pakistan accused Indian troops of killing two Pakistani soldiers on two separate days. IANS