Pakistan-India bus, trade resume as tensions ebb

Recent flare-up along the Line of Control saw a total of five soldiers killed earlier this month.

Afp 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.

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COMMENTS (9)

Farida malik | 7 years ago | Reply | Recommend

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.

Manoj Joshi India | 7 years ago | Reply | Recommend

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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