India-Pakistan bus and trade services resume after two weeks
| | Updated:
Cross-border bus and trade services between India and Pakistan have resumed today from Poonch in Jammu. Both
services were suspended after the recent escalation in tensions between
the two countries along the Line of Control (LoC) after two Indian
soldiers were killed by Pakistani troops on January 8.
say that stranded passengers will be given priority. Over a 100 people
from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) are reportedly stranded in Jammu
and Kashmir and several people from this side of the border are waiting
to return from PoK.
Islamabad suspended the services between the
Poonch sector in India and Rawalakot on its side of the LoC on January
11, citing tension in the region.
The cross-border bus service
was first launched in 2005, and the truck service to facilitate trade
began in 2008. Vegetables and fruit are bartered every week at
designated trade centres along the LoC and the suspension of the service
has hit traders on both sides of the border.
keeping with tradition, Indian and Pakistani troops exchanged sweets
along the LoC in the Poonch sector to mark India's 64th Republic Day on
Saturday. Indian and Pakistani soldiers exchanged sweets at the
Chakan-da-Bagh cross point as a goodwill gesture, army officials said.
added that a flag meeting was also held between the two sides on
Saturday and that it was cordial. The Indian side was represented by Col
PDS Bal and Major SS Sehgal and the Pakistani side by Lt Col Javid and
Personnel from India's Border Security Force and
Pakistani Rangers also exchanged sweets at Suchetgarh on the
International Border in Jammu district. Troops from both sides
traditionally exchange sweets and greetings on Independence Day,
Republic Day, Diwali and Id.