26 Kashmiris cross over, 5 guests arrive

GJ REPORT JAMMU, DEC 4: Five guests from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) arrived here while 26 Kashmiris – the highest number in this year so far – 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 number of guests coming here from PoK goes down during winter months while it increases during summer. On the contrary, the number of people going to PoK goes down in summer and increases in winter. Eight people also returned to their respective places, official sources said on Monday afternoon. They said highest number of 26 Kashmiris, including 12 women and five children, this year crossed to the other side of LoC in the weekly bus. Two PoK residents, who had arrived in previous buses, returned to their homes after completing their stay here. They said five residents of PoK arrived at Kaman Post, after crossing the Aman Setu, peace bridge. They included two women. Meanwhile, six Kashmiris, including three women, who had gone to PoK in previous buses, also returned after completing their stay there. The peace bus service operated despite repeated attempts being made by militants to sneak into this side from PoK before the higher reaches are closed due to snowfall. The bus service, introduced as one of the major Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) between India and Pakistan on April 7, 2005, has helped thousands of families divided in 1947 to meet each other.