As many as 116 PoK residents, stranded here for over a month due to the closure of the Poonch-Rawalakot cross-LoC bus service, left Poonch for the Kaman crossing point in Baramulla to return to their homes today. Three Indians, stranded in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK), will also return today, Trade Facilitation Officer (TFO), LoC Trade Poonch, Mohammad Tanveer, told PTI. The PoK passengers left in several buses through Mughal Road, the alternate link between Kashmir and rest of the country, around 5 am, he said.
Tanveer, who is among several officials accompanying the passengers to ensure their smooth deportation through Kaman post in Uri sector of Baramulla district, said the PoK passengers reached the sports stadium Poonch yesterday and were given government accommodation for the night.
They will return to their native places via ‘Aman Sethu’ (peace bridge) which connects Uri with PoK. Baramulla district administration has been informed and requested for providing logistic sport and other necessary arrangements for crossing of overstaying PoK guests, he said. While the weekly Cross-LoC bus service, named ‘Karvaan- e-Aman,’ continues to ply on Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road, the facility along Poonch-Rawalakot road remained suspended since July 10 due to heavy firing and shelling from the Pakistani side.
The early opening of the Kaman crossing suffered a set back on August 8 after fresh firing from Pakistan ended a lull of 19 days and left a soldier dead.
Pakistan again resorted to unprovoked and indiscriminate firing along the LoC in Poonch district on August 12, leaving a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) and a woman dead.