After suspension of the cross-LoC trade from Poonch district, Pakistan on Friday suspended cross-LoC bus service (Paigam-e-Aman) between Poonch and Rawalakot, too, from the Chakan-da-Bagh area in the district.
This was disclosed by Trade Facilitation Centre (TFC), Chakan-da-Bagh, custodian Abdul Hamid. Pakistan's move comes after recent incidents of ceasefire violations, particularly the killing of two Indian soldiers, near Atma post in Krishna Ghati sector and mounting tension with India.
The bus service between Poonch and Rawlakot is only for Monday, while the cross-LoC trade takes place from Tuesday to Friday in a week.
"The director general (DG) trade and traveller, PoK, has informed us on the hotline on Friday that there would be no bus service between the two countries from Monday onwards till the situation become normal on the border" said Hamid.
He further said after suspension of the trade and bus service, a notice had been issued to the traders so that they did not suffer financially as Pakistan did not open the gates on the border and about 60 trucks laden with vegetables, tomatoes, etc., remained stranded at Chakan-da-Bagh and Indian traders suffered huge loss Goods worth Rs. 60 to 80 lakh are exchanged per day between the traders.
"Till Friday evening, we did not receive any instruction from the authorities in this matter" said the TFC custodian.
However, cross-LoC traders' union president Pawan Anand said: "Due to frequent disruption in trade activities, we traders are incurring huge losses. We can't stop the trade as huge amount is involved from both the sides in the barter trade system".
He further said in Friday's meeting the traders had decided to resume trade after the present stalemate only after the Government of India gave them an assurance of financial security.
In June last year, Pakistan had violated the truce agreement more than nine times and BSF constable PK mishra and grenadier Harvinder Singh had sacrificed their lives in Krishna Ghati. After this, Pakistan had stopped the trade and the bus service, which were resumed in the last week of June after the brigadier-level "flag meeting" between the two countries.