PoK authorities suspend cross-LoC bus service

PoK authorities suspend cross-LoC bus service

Authorities in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) today suspended the cross-Line of Control (LoC) bus service on Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road to press for the release of a Pakistani driver arrested by Indian authorities in connection with smuggling of narcotics worth Rs 100 crore.

"We were informed by PoK authorities that the Karavan-e-Aman (Peace Caravan) bus service shall remain suspended today. No reasons were assigned," Regional Passport Officer Firdous Iqbal told PTI.

The move is apparently a pressure tactic by the PoK authorities who are seeking release of the driver and his vehicle from which 114 packets of Brown Sugar -- valued at Rs 100 crore in international market -- were recovered last week.

The PoK authorities have detained 27 trucks and drivers of these vehicles at Chakoti across the LoC since Friday following recovery of the drugs on this side.

While one driver has been arrested, 48 other drivers from PoK are also stranded at Salamabad Trade Facilitation Centre since the stand-off began last week.

It is unlikely that cross LoC trade on Srinagar- Muzaffarabad route will commence tomorrow in view of the ongoing row. While the Karavan-e-Aman Bus Service runs on weekly basis, the cross LoC trade is conducted from Tuesday to Friday every week.

The passenger bus service was started in April 2005 while the trade began in October 2008. 

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