13 PaK guests arrive, 4 Kashmiris cross over to other side of LoC

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Srinagar, Oct 22: As many as 13 fresh guests from Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) arrived here on Monday while only four Kashmiris crossed over to the other side of the Line of Control (LoC) in the weekly Karvan-e-Aman bus, operating between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad.
The bus operated despite tense situation following strike called by separatists on Monday against Kulgam killings on Sunday.
“As many as 32 returnees also crossed sides at Kaman Post,” official sources said this evening.
They said 13 residents of PaK, including four women and a child, arrived at Kaman Post after crossing the Aman Setu, peace bridge, on foot to meet their relatives, separated in 1947 due to partition.
Meanwhile, 10 Kashmiri residents, who had gone to PaK in previous busses, returned here. They included 7 women and a child.
The number of guests coming from PaK goes up during summers and comes down during winters. On the contrary, the number of Kashmiris visiting PaK comes down during summers and goes up during winters.
“Four Kashmiris crossed over to the other side of the LoC to meet their relatives while 22 PaK residents, including nine women and seven children, who had arrived here in previous buses, returned to their homes after completing their stay,” they added.
The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) had called for a general strike today which was supported by several others, including a Kashmiri pandit organization, against the Kulgam killings. Three Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militants were killed in an encounter by security forces at village Laroo in Kulgam on Sunday. However, immediately after the encounter was over, large number of people gathered there during which a blast took place leaving seven persons dead and scores injured.
The inter cross-LoC bus service was one of the major Confidence Building Measures (CBM) taken by India and Pakistan, after both the countries agreed for a ceasefire on LoC and the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir, in 2003.
The peace bus service has been operating, despite repeated attempts by the militants to sneak into this side from PaK before the higher reaches close due to snowfall for winter months. The bus has since helped thousands of divided families to meet each other.
However, only state subjects from both the sides are eligible to travel in the bus, after their names are cleared by the intelligence agencies from both the sides.