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Pak now slams brakes on cross-LoC travel
Halts Poonch-Rawalkote bus service; trade remains suspended
Tribune News Service

Jammu/Poonch, January 11
Pakistan on Friday stopped the weekly bus service between Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir and Rawalkote in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), escalating tension between the two countries.
The development comes a day after Islamabad suspended the trans-LoC trade and refused to open the gates for Indian trucks at Chakkan-da-Bagh crossing in Poonch.

Pakistan, in a hotline message, conveyed to Indian authorities about the suspension of the weekly cross-LoC bus service ‘Rahen Milan’ in the wake of mounting tension along the LoC.

“Pakistan officials have conveyed us that there would be no cross-LoC bus service on Monday. They have said there would be no trade and travel between the two sides till the situation normalises along the LoC,” said Trade Facilitation Officer (TFO), Poonch.

He said no trade was carried out between two sides for the second consecutive day on Friday and some truckers, who were stranded at Chakkan-da-Bagh crossing point, had returned to Poonch. “As many as 21 trucks were still stranded. We have told traders about the Pakistan Government’s decision,” he said, adding that no time frame had been fixed by Islamabad for resumption of trade and travel between the two sides. The cross-LoC bus service between Chakan-Da-Bagh (J&K) and Rawalakote (PoK) was started in June 2006 as a major CBMs.

Pakistani troops, meanwhile, violated the ceasefire agreement again by firing indiscriminately on forward Indian posts in the Krishna Ghati sector late last night. They targeted Dogra and Chhajaman posts in the Krishna Ghati sector late last evening and the firing continued till 4 am.

Pak summons Indian envoy

India and Pakistan on Friday continued to trade accusations over ceasefire violations with the Pakistan Government summoning the Indian envoy to serve a demarche over Thursday’s incident. Pakistan Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani summoned High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal to lodge "a strong protest on the repeated, unacceptable and unprovoked attacks on Pakistani soldiers by the Indian Army" and sought "thorough investigation" by the Indian Government. 





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