‘Peace Bus’ Plies Across LOC Amid Shelling

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Srinagar: As many as eight residents of Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PaK) arrived here while three Kashmiris crossed over to other side of the Line of Control (LoC) in Karwan-e-Aman bus, operating between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad.

Meanwhile, 17 returnees also crossed the sides at Kaman Post, the last Indian military post on this side of the LoC in Uri sector. The bus run continued despite tense situation on the Line of Control (LoC) though sporadic exchange of firing continues.   
   
Official sources here this evening said eight PaK residents, including four women and three children, arrived at Kaman Post after crossing Aman Setu, peace bridge, on foot to meet their relatives, separated in 1947 due to partition.

They said five Kashmiris, including three women, who had gone to PoK, returned to Srinagar after completing their stay there.

Meanwhile, three Kashmiris, including two women and a child, crossed to the other side of the LoC to meet their relatives. 

Sources said 12 PaK residents, including six women and a child, who had come to Srinagar during earlier bus service, also returned to their homes. 

They said the weekly peace bus left Srinagar at 0700 hrs and reached LoC at around 0900 hrs for security reasons to avoid any stone pelting and protests due to strike called by separatists.

Despite unrest since July 9 in Kashmir Valley, the bus run continued.  

However, on July 11 and 18, the bus could not operate  for security reasons following  strike by the separatists while on July 4 and September 12, it did not run in the wake of Eid festivals.

The weekly bus service was not affected even after the Fidayeen attack on Army Brigade Headquarters at Uri on September 18, which left 19 soldiers dead and over 20 wounded. The Fidayeen attack was followed by surgical attack by Indian troops across the LoC.

On October 17, the peace bus could not operate due to tense situation on the LoC while on October 24, it was suspended due to some political activity in the PaK. The bus service has helped thousands of Kashmiri 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. 

People are allowed to travel in the bus only after their names are cleared by the respective intelligence agencies. This is a major Confidence Building Measure (CBM) introduced on April 7, 2005  by India and Pakistan.       

 

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