Indo-Pak ‘peace bus’ via Poonch suspended
Chakan-da-Bagh trade facilitation centre custodian Tanvir Ahmed Choudhary said that the weekly bus service between Poonch and Rawalakote (PoK) could not take place on Monday due to rising hostilities between India and Pakistan on the border. He said that 14 Pakistanis had to return to their homes in PoK.india Updated: Jul 11, 2017 09:27 IST
The weekly trans-LoC bus service called ‘peace bus’ between India and Pakistani-occupied Kashmir (PoK) via Chakan-da-Bagh in Poonch district, came to a grinding halt on Monday.
Chakan-da-Bagh trade facilitation centre custodian Tanvir Ahmed Choudhary said that the weekly bus service between Poonch and Rawalakote (PoK) could not take place on Monday due to rising hostilities between India and Pakistan on the border. He said that 14 Pakistanis had to return to their homes in PoK. “Now, they can hopefully be sent back to PoK next Monday,” he added.
Choudhary said that there was no Indian (resident of J&K), who had to return home from PoK, or who had to go to PoK. The official said that there has been a sudden spike in Pakistani firing and shelling in Chakan-da-Bagh area on the LoC since past three days.
“The 14 Pakistanis will have to stay in the state for another one week till peace returns on the LoC. Going by the volatile situation, chances of trans-LoC trade via Chakan-da-Bagh are also grim,” the official said.
The weekly bus service and trade between the two parts of divided Jammu and Kashmir, was the brainchild of the then chief minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed. The border trade, on barter system, takes place four days a week, from Tuesday to Friday.
An Intelligence official said that the Pakistan army has resorted to indiscriminate firing on villages and the army posts along the LoC in Poonch district since 5.55pm on Sunday. The official said that the trade facilitation centre and police barracks have suffered some damage in the shelling.
“There was heavy firing and shelling by Pakistani troops along the LoC overnight. The exchanges lasted till 1am on Monday,” he added. After Saturday’s ceasefire violation, the Indian troops had purportedly retaliated and damaged three Pakistani posts and killed two Pak soldiers.
On Saturday, a territorial army jawan havildar Mohmmad Shaukat and his wife Safia Bi were killed, while their three daughters Zaida Kouser (6), Robina Kouser (12) and Nazia Bi were injured when a 120mm shell exploded inside their house in Karmara village in Gulpur area of Poonch district.