No impact of India-Pak strain relation on cross-LoC peace bus

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URI: Despite strained relations between India and Pakistan following suspected militant in Uri, the Karvan-e-Aman peace bus continues to ply.

Official sources said that the weekly bus, operating between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistan administered Kashmir, left here early this morning for Kaman post, the last Indian military post on this side of the LoC in Uri sector.

Eight passengers boarded the bus here before leaving for Uri. However, the exact number would be known later in the afternoon when more passengers will board it.

The bus has reached Salamabad Trade Facilitation Centre (TFC), Uri at around 8 AM today.

Barring July 11 and 18, the bus service continued despite curfew, restrictions and strike for the past 93 days in the valley, where 94 civilians were killed and over 15000 others injured in forces action since July 9, a day after Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) commander Burhan Wani and two other militants were killed by forces in Bemdoora village of Islamabad district.

The bus from Srinagar to Kaman post is leaving Srinagar early in the morning to avoid any violence on way in view of strike. Similarly, people coming from PaK have to wait at Uri before starting journey towards their respective destinations.

The bus service, introduced on April 7, 2005, has helped thousands of families divided due to partition in 1947 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.

However, people are allowed to travel only after their names are cleared from intelligence agencies from both sides.

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