The cross-LoC trade between J&K and PoK continued Wednesday amid the escalating Indo-Pak tension with 50 goods trucks crossing the Line of Control a day after the IAF jet fighters bombed a JeM terror facility at Balakot in Pakistan, said officials. The cross-LoC trade via Chakan-da-Bagh Wednesday saw 50 goods laden trucks crossing the LoC, custodian Fareed Kohli of the LoC trade centre at Poonch told PTI.
He said while 34 Indian goods trucks went to PoK, 16 trucks arrived here from the other side. The cross-LoC trade takes place between the two sides four days a week from Tuesday to Friday. A similar number of goods trucks, 35 Indian and 15 of PoK, had crossed the LoC Tuesday when the weekly trade resumed.
A Pakistan Air Force F-16 fighter jet was shot down by Indian air defence forces in Rajouri sector of Jammu region on Wednesday morning after it violated the Indian air space and dropped bombs at a few places near the LoC. The PAF fighter jet breached Indian air space after intense shelling all along the LoC in the twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri along with parts of Jammu on late Tuesday.
While five Pakistani posts were damaged in retaliatory action by the Indian Army, whose five personnel were injured in Akhnoor sector of Jammu district in skirmishes. The intense shelling caused scare among the border residents who have been directed by authorities to stay back at their homes. The people at some places, including Mandi in Poonch district, however, were seen moving to safer places amid the rising tension which also forced authorities to close down all educational institutions within five kilometer from the LoC as a precautionary measure, officials said.
The weekly bus-service between Poonch and Rawalakot (PoK), which had been suspended on February 18 following the Pulwama terror attack on February 14, had also resumed Monday with 17 passengers availing the facility.
Billed as the biggest confidence-building measure, the bus service had been started on Srinagar-Muzaffarabad route in Kashmir region on April 7, 2005 and the Poonch-Rawalakot route in Jammu region on June 20, 2006, to facilitate easier trade and travel between divided families of Jammu and Kashmir and the PoK. The trade, which works on the barter system between the divided parts of the state had started in October 2008.