Srinagar: A day after a terror attack in Uri, the ‘Karvan-e-Aman’ (cross-LoC peace bus) between Muzaffarabad and Srinagar resumed service on schedule on Monday morning.
Eight passengers boarded the bus from Srinagar around 6 am and reached the Salamabad transit point in Uri at 9.30 am.
Of the eight passengers, five were residents of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir who had come here to visit their relatives, and three Kashmiris, officials said.
“The bus will cross over to the PoK as per schedule. We have no objection to the resumption of bus service at this point of time,” Showkat Ahmad, Sub-District Magistrate, Uri, told The Tribune. Ahmad is nodal officer for the facilitation of bus service between the two countries.
Ahmad said security officials are frisking passengers and checking their luggage. “After the security check, the bus will cross over to PoK in half an hour,” he said.
The Karvan-e-Aman, a weekly bus service between India and Pakistan, was started in April 2005.
At least 17 soldiers were killed and 19 others injured after a group of four militants attacked the 12th Brigade of Army on Sunday morning. The attack created public outrage across the country.
As peace-building initiatives between two countries, the bus service was followed by bilateral trade — conducted from Tuesday to Friday every week — along the LoC in Uri in 2008.
Trade worth billions of rupees has also been done through this cross-LoC route by the traders of PoK and Jammu and Kashmir. Officials said the cross-LoC trade will also continue from Tuesday after remaining suspended for over two months due to lack of security.
“Cross-LoC trade is most likely to resume from Tuesday because we have no objection to the trade with PoK,” the general manager, Salamabad Trade Facilitation Centre, Farooq Ahmad Shah, said.
The cross-LoC trade in Uri is suspended for the past two months due to lack of security. “The CRPF personnel, who accompany the trucks to the Kaman Sethu bridge, are busy with law and order situation,” Shah said. He said a meeting of civil and security officials is taking place today to arrange the security for the tucks.
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