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Pak Suspends Rawalakot-Poonch Bus Service

March 05, 2019 05:15 AM

COURTESY ET MARCH 5

Pak Suspends Rawalakot-Poonch Bus Service
STARTED IN 2006 Pakistani authorities refuse to open Rah-e-Milan Gate at Poonch on Monday
DipanjanRoy.Chaudhury@timesgroup.com

New Delhi:

Pakistan has suspended cross-border bus service between Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), days after temporarily suspending Samjhauta Express.


The bus service between J&K’s Poonch and PoK’s Rawalakot was suspended on Monday after Pakistani authorities refused to open the gate at Chak da Bagh crossing point.

The Poonch-Rawalakot bus service was started in 2006 through Tatrinote and Chakan Da Bagh point to facilitate easy travel for Kashmiri families divided by the Line of Control (LoC).

While Pakistan recently restored the Lahore-Delhi Samjhauta Express train services, it refused to open the Rah-e-Milan Gate at Poonch on Monday, forcing the weekly cross-LoC Rawalakot bus service to return without crossing over to India, official sources here told ET.

Despite provocation, India did not stop any cross-LoC transport services, the sources said.

The bus service had been suspended a number of times in the past. In 2017, the facility remained suspended for nearly 17 weeks due to heavy Pakistani shelling. About 119 passengers from both sides were left stranded in Poonch and PoK then.

The cross-LoC bus service was started on the 170-km Srinagar-Muzaffarabad route in April 2005 and billed as one of the biggest confidence-building measures.

The Delhi-Lahore bus service is running as usual, an official said, but with fewer passengers. The buses to Lahore are operated from the Ambedkar Stadium bus terminal near the Delhi Gate. These buses ply every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation runs buses to Delhi every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday

 
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