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LoC ice breaks: Trade, travel resume today
Our Correspondent

Poonch, January 27
Trans-Line of Control trade and travel between India and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) will resume from here tomorrow.

Both services were suspended after the recent escalation in tension between the two countries along the LoC in Poonch district following brutal killing of two Indian soldiers by Pakistani troops on January 8.

"We have received information on hotline last evening from the other side that the trade and travel services will resume from Monday,” said Krishan Lal, custodian, cross-LoC trade and travel.

"On Monday, only 217 stranded passengers, who have completed their stipulated stay from both sides of the LoC, which includes 109 Pakistan nationals who are in J&K and 108 Indian nationals who are stranded in PoK, will be allowed to travel," said Lal.

There was no information regarding fresh passengers from both sides, he said.

The Pakistani authorities had suspended the services between the two countries on January 11, citing tension in the region and conveyed that the services would be resumed only after the resumption of normalcy on the LoC, sources said.

The cross-border bus service "Rahen Milan” is a part of confidence-building measures between the two countries and was launched in 2005. The trade service was started in 2008. Vegetables and fruits are bartered every week at designated trade centres along the LoC and the suspension of service has hit traders on both sides.

The decision to resume the trade and travel between the two countries was taken after the DGMO-level talks between New Delhi and Islamabad recently, said sources.

They said in the past 15 days, Indian traders had suffered a loss of over Rs 3.37 crore.

However, the cross-LoC trade via Salamabad ran smoothly between Uri and Muzaffarabad.

Meanwhile, in keeping with the tradition, Indian and Pakistani troops exchanged sweets along the LoC in Poonch to mark India's 64th Republic Day yesterday.

A flag meeting was also held between the two sides at Chakan da bagh yesterday. The Indian side was represented by Col PDS Bal and Major SS Sehgal and the Pakistani side by Lt Col Javid and Major Yasin. 





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