LoC ‘Peace bus’, trade between India and Pakistan suspended over Pulwama attack
The weekly “peace bus” service and border trade between India and Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) have been suspended following the Pulwama terror attack on February 14 that left 40 CRPF personnel dead.
The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre has already withdrawn the “most favoured nation” (MFN) status to Pakistan granted in 1996 and also removed the security of five separatist leaders after the attack in Pulwama.
It also moved to isolate Pakistan globally with an aggressive diplomatic outreach to more than 25 countries including P5 - the US, the UK, France, Russia and China after the attack claimed by Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed.
“Due to the prevailing law and order situation (after the Pulwama attack), weekly LoC bus service and trade have been put on hold,” Poonch deputy commissioner Rahul Yadav said.
It has been learnt that the instructions to suspend trade and travel between Jammu and Kashmir and PoK has come from the Union home ministry.
The weekly bus service and trade via Chakan-da-Bagh in Poonch district and Rawalakot in Pokiest was the brainchild of the then chief minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed. The bus service on June 20, 2006, to facilitate easier trade and travel between the divided families of Jammu and Kashmir and PoK and was seen as a major confidence-building measure. The border trade and travel also takes place via Salamabad in Uri of Baramulla district.
The border trade on barter system takes place four days a week from Tuesday to Friday while bus service takes place once a week on Monday for the divided families.
On Monday, the Indian Army lost four its soldiers in a gun battle with Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists in Pulwama area.
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