SRINAGAR: The Karvan-e-Aman bus, operating between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK), and Cross- Line of Control (LoC) trade on Monday remained suspended since March 24, official sources said.
Though no reasons was given for continued suspension of bus and trade, it is said that due to strained relations between India and Pakistan after February fidayeen attack by Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) at Awantipora on Srinagar-Jammu national highway that left 44 CRPF personnel dead and several others injured, the cross bus and trade could not be resumed.
Initially it was informed that Karvan-e-Aman bus was suspended on March 24 as Aman Setu peace bridge was under repair from PoK side at Kaman post, the last Indian military post on this side of the LoC.
The bus, one of the major Confidence Building Measure (CBM) was taken by India and Pakistan to allow divided families to meet each other.
The first bus operated on April 7, 2005.
The bus has since helped thousands of families, divided since 1947 due to partition to meet each other. It was also decided to allow residents from both sides to travel on “Travel Permits” instead of International passports.
However, travel permit is being issued only after the intelligence agencies from both the countries clear their names.
Despite opposition by militants, almost all separatist leaders, barring hardline Hurriyat Conference (HC) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) chief Shabir Ahmad Shah, travelled in the bus to PoK.
Cross-LoC trade also remained suspended since March 4.
However, later trade was also officially suspended by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) after intelligence reports reported that trade was being used by anti-national elements for fomenting violence in Jammu and Kashmir.