After bus service flights on the agenda, says PoK Prime Minister
5 May 2005
B. Muralidhar Reddy
Islamabad: The Prime Minister of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), Sardar Sikandar Hayat, has said that following the success of the Srinagar- Muzaffarabad bus service an air service connecting the two sides will be started soon. Addressing a welcoming ceremony for bus passengers from Srinagar organised by the Rawalpindi-Islamabad Press Club here, Mr. Hayat said the bus service had worked as an important confidence-building measure. The PoK Prime Minister's statement comes in the wake of the Joint Statement issued on April 18 at the end of the three-day visit by the Pakistan President, Pervez Musharraf, that spoke of further measures to enhance cooperation across the Line of Control. Mr. Hayat said those who had taken the bus so far had returned to PoK convinced that more CBMs were needed to reduce 'lingering apprehensions' about security. Plea to Islamabad He urged the Pakistan Government to increase funds for defence and development of villages close to the LoC as they 'often fell prey' to Indian shelling. A ceasefire is in force on the LoC since November 25, 2003. On the resolution of the Kashmir dispute, Mr. Hayat said a United Nations resolution would be the base for any decision but 'priority' would be given to the wishes of Kashmiris. Syed Muhammad Akram Shah, a group leader of the passengers who travelled to Srinagar, termed the bus service an important CBM that connected people on both sides of the LoC. The people of Kashmir pinned great hopes on President Musharraf and his desire for peace.