The bus service between J&K’s Poonch and PoK’s Rawalakot was suspended on Monday after Pakistani authorities refused to open the gate at Chak da Bagh crossing point.
The Poonch-Rawalakot bus service was started in 2006 through Tatrinote and Chakan Da Bagh point to facilitate easy travel for Kashmiri families divided by the Line of Control (LoC).
“The cross LoC bus carrying passengers left Chakan Da Bagh (Poonch) for Rawalakot today, but after Pakistan Army did not open the gate on the Zero Point, the bus had to return to Chakan Da Bagh”, said an official.
Pakistan suspended cross-border bus service between Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), days after temporarily suspending Samjhauta Express that runs between Lahore and Delhi.
The bus service had been suspended a number of times in the past. In 2017, the facility remained suspended for nearly 17 weeks due to heavy Pakistani shelling. About 119 passengers from both sides were left stranded in Poonch and PoK then.
Pakistan suspended the train service last week as tensions escalated following India’s counter-terrorism airstrike on Tuesday inside Pakistan’s Balakot targeting JeM terror camps, who were responsible for the Pulwama terror attack that killed 40 CRPF Jawans.
Pakistan had canceled the train’s trip on the Wagah-Lahore stretch on its side, even as 27 passengers — 23 Indians and three from the neighbouring country — arrived at Attari from Delhi on an Indian rake which left the Old Delhi Railway station at 11:20 pm Wednesday night.