Karvan-e-Aman bus leaves for POK

The weekly Karvan-e-Aman bus operating between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK), left for Kaman Post, the last Indian military post on this side of the Line of Control (LoC) in Uri sector here to cross over to the other side.

The bus left from Bemina in Srinagar this morning for Kaman post, official sources said.

The bus has since reached the Trade Facilitation Centre (TFC) at Uri, they said, adding the exact number of passengers travelling to POK would be known by afternoon.

The passengers travelling from POK to here, to meet their relatives separated due to partition in 1947, will also be known in the afternoon, they said.

The bus service, a major Confidence Building Measure (CBM) between India and Pakistan after 1999 Kargil War, continues despite unrest in Kashmir in 2016 and tension on the LoC, due to ceasefire violation and subsequent surgical strike by Indian troops in the POK.

The cross-LoC bus service, started on April 7, 2005 despite opposition by militant organisations, has helped thousands of families, divided in 1947 due to Partition, to meet each other after India and Pakistan agreed to allow travel of state subjects from both sides on travel permits, instead of international passport.

However, the travel permit is issued to the state subject from both sides of the LoC only after their names are cleared by the intelligence agencies from India and Pakistan.

However, only state subjects from both sides could avail the cross-LoC facility.