December 2005 News

Peace Bus Reunites Kashmir After Quake

16 December 2005
The Indian Express

Srinagar: The peace bus linking both sides of LoC halted by the devastating Oct 8 South Asia earthquake resumed on Thursday, Indian officials said.'The bus has resumed its service from Srinagar to Kaman post with seven passengers on board,' S.L. Srinramlu, a passport officerin Jammu and Kashmir said. The 170-km highway between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad was reopened in April, connecting the two sides for the first time in almost 60 years. But the South Asia quake, which killed almost 75,000 people, blocked the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road and damaged the Aman Setu, or Peace Bridge. Indian officials said 15 passengers were cleared to travel but only seven, including five stranded passengers of PoK, boarded the bus on Thursday. At least 10 passengers from J&K stranded in PoK since the quake were expected to return home. 'It is not clear how the passengers from (the) other side would travel to the Peace Bridge, as the road on the other side is still in a bad condition,' an Indian official said. The April revival of the bus run linking families divided for decades was one of the most tangible signs of progress in a painstakingly slow but steady peace process between India and Pakistan. After the quake, they opened five border points to allow relief supplies and survivors to cross.


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