Cross-LoC travel resumes, trade to restart Tuesday
Travel across the Line of Control (LoC) that divides Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan resumed Monday after being suspended due to tension following the Jan 8 killing of two Indian soldiers. Trade will resume Tuesday, an official said here.
More than 150 people, stranded on either side, were cleared. While 85 people, who had come here to meet relatives and overstayed due to the tension along the LoC, returned to their homes, 68 Indians crossed over to this side.
"As of now, there is no indication as to when fresh passengers will start coming from either of the two sides of the LoC," an official told IANS on phone from Poonch.
"We are clearing the backlog first," the official said.
The cross-LoC travel takes place every Monday. There were 109 people from across the LoC in Poonch and Rajouri districts when trouble broke out on Jan 8. This travel to unite divided families was one of the confidence building measures (CBMs) that began in 2005 from Salamabad to Chakoti in Kashmir valley and Chakan-da-Bagh to Rawalakot in Poonch district of Jammu region.
Trade, which will resume Tuesday, takes place from Tuesday to Friday every week. Goods worth Rs.2 crore are traded every day with about 25 trucks crossing over.
The trade was halted Jan 10 when Indian officials said Pakistan did not open gates for the trucks at Chakan-da-Bagh.
India-Pakistan relations took a hit after New Delhi accused Pakistani troops of brutally killing two Indian soldiers along the LoC Jan 8 and beheading one of them.
Pakistan accused Indian troops of killing two Pakistani soldiers on two separate days. In retaliation to the beheading and the mutilation of the other soldier, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declared that there could be no business as usual with Pakistan.