Cross-LoC bus service resumes

FOR the first time ever since the beginning of cross LoC passenger bus service Rah-e-Milan, on Poonch-Rawalakote road since June 2006, passengers boarded four buses at Chakkan Da Bagh on their return journey to their native places in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) today.

Disclosing this, the outgoing Custodian cross LoC passenger bus service and trade at Chakkan Da Bagh, Abdul Hamid, said that 84 visitors from PoK had reported there for their return journey. An equal number of buses will be bringing residents of Jammu Kashmir to this side of the border, he added.

A decision to increase the number of buses on the Poobch-Rawalakote road was taken at a meeting between officials from both India and Pakistan in view of large number of passengers stranded on both sides of the border, he said. After the completion of all necessary formalities, the buses will leave through Chakkan Da Bagh for their respective destinations around 2.30 pm, he added.

The cross LoC bus service and trade on Poonch-Rawalakote road was suspended in the wake of escalation of tension between India and Pakistan over a fortnight ago. While the bus service has resumed today, he hoped that trade between the two sides will also re-start from Tuesday.

The first Poonch-Rawalkot bus in 58 years had rolled across the border from this side of the LoC on June 2006 with 30 passengers on board. It was flagged off by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi who had then said that ``another wall between India and Pakistan has fallen.'' The first was when the Uri-Muzaffarabad road was opened. She had described it as yet another step towards peace and friendship between the two countries.

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