While the train service between India and Pakistan have resumed, the weekly Karvan-e-Aman service or peace bus from Srinagar to Muzaffarabad was again temporarily suspended on Monday for a day due to “security situation”, officials said. The bus service between the two countries operates once a week (every Monday).
Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) of North Kashmir’s Uri, Riyaz Malik told The Indian Express that the bus did not operate on Monday because of security issues. “We are hopeful that it would run again from next week,” said Malik.
Malik, however, didn’t say how many passengers were scheduled to travel to POK from the Indian side in the bus.
The Karvan-e-Aman bus service, started in April 2005, is the CBM (confidence-building measure) that has worked, helping connect people on both sides of the LoC.
Last week, the authorities had resumed the Karvan-e-Aman after it was suspended for a day on February 18, due to “security situation” following a deadly car bombing on a CRPF convoy in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district on February 14, which killed 40 CRPF personnel.
Several villages of Uri, in North Kashmir, last week saw cross border shelling after the escalation of tensions between the two countries. Trade also remained suspended for three days after increased tensions between India and Pakistan as the Indian jets had targeted a Jaish-e-Mohammad camp in Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, deep inside Pakistani territory, on Tuesday. The cross LOC trade takes place from Tuesday to Friday.
Officials said that they are now expecting the trade would again resume tomorrow (Tuesday). “The trucks are already loaded. We are expecting that the cross LoC trade would resume tomorrow from Uri,” said Malik.
“Everyone is ready to resume the trade from tomorrow. If everything remains peaceful, the trade will definitely resume from tomorrow again,” Hilal Turki, chairman, cross LoC traders’ association told The Indian Express.