M A I N   N E W S

India, Pak armies caught in modalities
Relief to quake-hit along LoC

Teetwal (LoC), November 4
The opening of relief camps along the Line of Control for earthquake victims of Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir have hit a roadblock as the armies on either side are unable to evolve a mechanism for transporting the aid packages.

The two armies have also had a communication breakdown of sorts with the gushing river Kishanganga drowning all efforts.

The Indian Army today tried to send a boat into the Kishanganga river, which acts as a demarcation of the LoC along this village, to ferry across material for constructing a bridge for transportation of relief material but it was objected to by the other side.

A couple of hours later, the Pakistan army tried to lower an empty boat, the purpose of which was not known, but the Army from this side objected to it.

“Do not drop the boat yet,” a soldier from the Kumaon Regiment shouted across the river but the Pakistani forces paid little heed and carried on with the process.

Asked why he was stopping the Pakistanis, the soldier told PTI: “Pehle hum ko mana kiya, hum kyon karnay denge’ (First they stopped us. Now, why should we allow them).”

As all attempts to stop the Pakistanis failed, an Army Captain along with several soldiers rushed down to the bank of the river and asked them to stop.

There was an obvious communication gap between the two sides as everything said by them was drowning in the roar of the water rushing downstream.

Several Pakistani army helicopters believed to be carrying bridge construction material were flying around Teetwal village, many times crossing into Indian airspace, in an attempt to land at the makeshift helipad here.

Sources said Pakistani helicopters wanted to dump the relief material in Teetwal and ferry it to their side by boats for construction of the bridge.

“The Army will not allow it and they have decided to park all their vehicles in it to prevent the choppers from landing,” they said.

The Pakistani army has an operational helipad close to the proposed site of the bridge but as there is no land connectivity due to the landslides, it is not able to reach the material through the territory controlled by it.

Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, who spent his Id here, said the government from this side was ready to make the relief camps operational at present.

“It is for them (Pakistanis) to decide now,” he said adding it would not take more than 24 hours to construct a temporary bridge across the river. — PTI

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