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Poonch-Rawalakote road link to open b/w Indo-Pak

Written by: Staff

Poonch, June 4: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to flag off the inaugural Poonch-Rawalakote bus service between India and Pakistan on June 19.

The road connecting Poonch in the Jammu region to Rawalakote in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) will be thrown open after 57 long years. Almost each family living in Poonch has relatives across the Line of Control (LoC) that divides Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan.

The people on both sides of the border share a common language and culture.

The reopening of the Poonch-Rawalakote bus service follows the opening of the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service in April last year and is another Confidence Building Measure (CBM) between New Delhi and Islamabad to take forward the peace process. The bus service would be the first to open south of the Pir Panjal mountain ranges.

In preparation for the Prime Minister's visit, checkpoints have been erected at sensitive points in the insurgency-infested district.

District Police officer S D Jamwal who is supervising security measures, said the troops were being extra cautious after three Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blasts in the district in May.

Unmindful of the high security scenario, residents here are counting days till they finally meet their relatives across the LoC in Rawalakote, barely 40 km from here.

Ram Nayak, a resident of Poonch trown said he and his family were eager to travel across to Pakistan-occuiped Kashmir (PoK). ''This is the best thing to happen to us since the country's Independence,'' he said.


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