Authorities in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on Monday refused to allow a bus from India to enter, thereby continuing the deadlock over the cross-LoC trade and the peace bus service in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.
Officials in Poonch district said when the Poonch-Rawlakote bus carrying 17 passengers reached the Chakan-Da-Bagh crossing point on Monday, Pakistani officials did not open the gate to allow the bus to enter their side.
“We had to finally cancel the service. The bus was carrying 17 passengers, 14 of whom were returning home to Pakistan, while three were going to visit relatives there from our side,” an official said.
Pakistani authorities have already stopped the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad peace bus service, linking the bus operation to the resolution of the deadlock over trade across the Line of Control (LoC).
On Jan 17, police and customs officials at the Salamabad trade facilitation centre in Baramulla seized 114 packets of brown sugar from a truck coming from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
The truck driver and a local trader who was to receive the narcotics were arrested.
Pakistani officials first claimed the driver could not be arrested as he enjoyed diplomatic immunity. When the Indian foreign office challenged the claim, Pakistan linked the bus services with the resolution of the deadlock.
Pakistan later refused to allow the return of 27 drivers and their trucks from India.