India, Pakistan tension affects cross border bus service

January 21st, 2009 - 2:14 pm ICT by ANI  

Poonch (J-K), Jan 21 (ANI): Prevailing tension between India and Pakistan, has affected passenger traffic on the Poonch-Rawalakot bus service operating between the two sides of divided Kashmir.
Apprehensions as to how the situation might shape up, has prevented people from undertaking the journey across the Line of Control (LoC).
With enthusiasm about meeting their relatives among people on both sides, the bus earlier would be full of passengers.
But as the tension between the two countries prevails, only ten people from Pakistani Kashmir and around 35 first timers from Indian Kashmir undertook the journey on Tuesday from Chakan Da Bagh border check post.
Despite getting travel permission by concerned authorities, the people are reluctant to undertake the journey and many have also cancelled their tickets.
“People are coming less because of the tension has had an impact on the coming of the people. I also had thought of extending my visit but I”m returning because god knows what turn the situation might take,” said Sajad Butt, Pakistan National.
Last week, the number of passengers visiting from Pakistan was only 16.
Hope of normalcy returning between the two countries rides high amongst the border people as they feel it would disperse the shadow cast upon them by the prevailing tension.
A maximum of 60 passengers are allowed to from both India and Pakistan to travel on weekly Poonch-Rawalakot bus service.
“It was a good step taken by the both the governments. There are people who are meeting their families after 50 years, we as commoners think that this process should continue,” said Maqsood Ahmed, a resident.
Launched in June 2006, Poonch-Rawalakot is the second bus service between the two countries. A bus service connecting Srinagar and Muzaffarabad was launched in 2005. (ANI)

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