Pakistan-India bus, trade resume as tensions ebb

By AFP
Published: January 28, 2013

Recent flare-up along the Line of Control saw a total of five soldiers killed. PHOTO: INP/ FILE

SRINAGAR: A cross-border bus service between India and Pakistan, suspended along with trade after deadly army clashes earlier this month, resumed Monday in a sign of easing tension between the neighbours.

Officials said 64 passengers from Pakistan crossed the de facto border in Kashmir into India while 84 went in the other direction on the bus service from Poonch to Rawalakot.

Cross-border trade, which had been encouraged in recent years as a means to improve strained relations between New Delhi and Islamabad, was also set to resume on Tuesday after being frozen for the last two weeks.

“We are assessing losses the traders suffered because they could not send perishable items across on time,” Shant Manu, secretary for industries and commerce in Indian Kashmir, told AFP.

The recent flare-up along the Line of Control (LoC) that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan saw a total of five soldiers killed earlier this month, with fears that tensions between the two countries could escalate.

A ceasefire agreement on January 16 between commanders in both armies has held, however, with politicians on both sides seen as keen to avoid wrecking recent progress in their slow-moving peace process.

The cross LoC bus service from Poonch on the Indian side to Rawalakot on the Pakistan side began in 2005 to enable members of divided families in the region to meet each other.

Another bus service that departs from the Uri sector of Indian Kashmir to the Pakistani side has been closed because of heavy snowfall in the area.

Reader Comments (9)

  • Jan 28, 2013 - 3:04PM

    Peace is the only and ultimate solution. Good to see parties on both sides have realized, discussed and moved on. Isolated matters and exceptions must not derail the peace process because the ultimate sufferer is the common man who has nothing to do with the politics

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  • stranger
    Jan 28, 2013 - 3:16PM

    Its a step in the right direction.

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  • goggi
    Jan 28, 2013 - 5:21PM

    India and Pakistan are in the true sense of the word “Bunch of Buffoons”! They love to disgrace each other, they love to abuse each other, they love to hate each other, they love to kill each other but still can`t live without each other. In one breathe they talk of Peace and in the next breathe from a Nuclear War. What a nihilistic and immature life philosophy!

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  • Rashid
    Jan 28, 2013 - 5:55PM

    As veena malik once said..
    “mufti sahab yeh kia baat hue” :D

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  • ram-naam-satya-hai
    Jan 28, 2013 - 9:27PM

    @goggi:
    Peace is a nightmare for the weapon-mafia, their appointed Generals and the tremendously vast military machine of both the countries. Hating each other has become our karma and peace a pipe dream.

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Jan 28, 2013 - 9:44PM

    What is the use of running a bus service between Pakistan and India when it will ultimately become a ‘Dhakka Gari’?

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  • JSM
    Jan 29, 2013 - 5:23PM

    So you feel it is business as usual.

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  • Manoj Joshi India
    Jan 30, 2013 - 7:50AM

    Trade between India and Pakistan must continue and grow as this is vital for the economies of the two countries. There has been a general slow down with regard to the economies on account of the global slow down and hence remedial measures become desirable to boost the economy. This is possible only through a joint effort which the two neighbours must and trade is a part of it. Unnecessary tensions and conflicts or unwarranted raking up of issues should be avoided.

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  • Farida malik
    Jan 30, 2013 - 11:18AM

    what’s the purpose of the service. Love is more important than trading in each country. trade is more important than love than… these stupid people should do that was go to each country know. People like me Are waiting for the past 2 years, US citizens.

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