Peace bus fails to cut through rising tensions

Rajouri: The continuing border skirmishes between India and Pakistan along the Line of Control (LoC), in Poonch has taken its toll on the cross-LoC bus service running on the Poonch-Rawalakot road between the two divided parts of the state. The bus remained suspended for the 17th week today.

The bus service was suspended on July 10 due to heavy firing and shelling. Since then, no bus has crossed the Line of Control from Chakan-da-bagh, an official said.

“The Poonch-Rawalakot cross-LoC bus service remained suspended even today. It has been shut for the last 17 weeks now,” custodian of LoC trade (Poonch) Mohmmad Tanveer said.

He said the bus service was shut because of the Pakistani Army often resorting to shelling Poonch has witnessed the worst border skirmishes between India and Pakistan along the LoC this year.

According to police, till August 1, there were 285 ceasefire violations by the Pakistan Army, a sharp increase from that in 2016, when the number was 228 for the entire year.

Eleven people, including nine soldiers, were killed and 18 injured in ceasefire violations in July, according to the Army data.

There were as many as 83 ceasefire violations, one BAT (border action team) attack and two infiltration bids in June in which four people, including three soldiers, were killed and 12 injured.



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