Pakistan refuses entry of 'peace bus' carrying 17 passengers

Pakistan refuses entry of 'peace bus' carrying 17 passengers

The "peace bus" service between India and Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) remained suspended today, with the Pakistani authorities refusing to allow a bus carrying 17 passengers at the Chakan-Da-Bagh crossing point in Poonch district.

This is the result of the 11-day impasse over the arrest of a driver from across Line of Control trade following the recovery of brown sugar valued at Rs 100 crore from his vehicle on January 17 at the Salamabad trade facilitation centre in Baramulla district.

"The cross-border passenger bus carrying people from J&K was refused entry to PoK via Poonch-Rawalkote LoC road through Chakan-Da-Bagh crossing point in Poonch today," an official said tonight.

The bus carrying 17 passengers -- 14 PoK returnees and three Indian citizens -- reached the Chakan-da-Bagh crossing point on LoC, but the Pakistani authorities did not open the gates for its entry, they said.

They also removed the white flag put up during the crossing of passengers and trucks carrying goods. The officials maintained that there was no response from the Pakistani side.

The Pakistani authorities have also stopped the Srinagar- Muzaffarabad peace bus service.

Indian and Pakistani authorities today met at Kaman Post to end the 11-day impasse, but a breakthrough remained elusive.

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