Jammu and Kashmir: 27 stranded in Poonch as PoK authorities refuse to open gate for Cross-LoC bus service
(Photo by Sajjad HUSSAIN / AFP)

Jammu and Kashmir: Twenty-seven residents of Pakistan occupied Kashmir scheduled to return from Poonch on Monday through Cross-LoC bus service had to stay back as PoK authorities did not respond to call from Indian counterparts to open the gates on their side and let the bus get across the border.

"27 PoK residents were scheduled to travel back today as their permit period had come to an end. But PoK authority didn't give any response and gates were not opened, so buses couldn't cross. PoK residents could not cross through," said Poonch District Development Commissioner Rahul Yadav.

The Pooch-Rawalkot bus service that plys weekly was started along the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad route in April 2005 and the Poonch- Rawalakot road in June 2006 to facilitate trade and travel between the divided families of Jammu and Kashmir and PoK. This comes in line with Pakistan's continued offensive against India after the country scrapped Article 370 that conferred special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two union territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.

Earlier, the neighbouring country had suspended the bus service between New Delhi and Lahore and trains Samjhauta Express and Thar Express. Pakistan has alleged that India's decision of revoking the provisions under Article 370 will not only threaten regional peace but also world peace. However, India has made it clear that it is an internal matter of the country and does not violate the Line of Control (LoC) or any border.

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