Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service to resume Monday

Srinagar, J Jan 30 (IANS) Inching towards the resolution of the deadlock over the cross LoC trade, Indian and Pakistan officials Thursday decided to resume the operations of the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad peace bus from Monday.

A senior state government official said the decision was taken at a meeting held at the Kaman Post on the LoC in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district between officials from both sides connected with the supervision and conduct of the cross-LoC trade.
“It was agreed that the operations of Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service would be resumed from Monday.
“The meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere. Officials of the Pakistan side have sought information regarding the investigations being carried out into the recovery of brown sugar from a vehicle belonging to the Pakistan side that had come here carrying trade goods on Jan 17.
“We told them the required information could not be exchanged at the level of the trade officials, but the issue would be taken up by us with the higher authorities so that Pakistan could approach for the required information at the embassy level,” said the official, who did not want to be named.
The resumption of the bus service between the two parts of divided Kashmir is seen here as an important step towards the resolution of the deadlock over the cross LoC trade.
Following the arrest of a Pakistani driver and seizure of his vehicle by the Indian authorities after recovery of 114 packets of drug brown sugar, Pakistan authorities have detained 27 drivers and their vehicles those had gone to Chakote near Muzaffarabad on Jan 17 with goods from the Indian side.
Pakistan also refused entry to 48 of its own vehicles, maintaining that all the 49 vehicles and their drivers those had come here with trade goods on Jan17 should be allowed to go back.
It had later also disallowed the operations of the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawlakote bus service linking the issue with the resolution of the deadlock over the arrest of their driver.