Cross LoC Travel Loosing Charm

3 April 2009

Jammu: Even if more people crossed over the Line of Control through Chakan-Da-Bagh and Aman Setu crossing points in Jammu and the held Valley respectively, there has been a considerable decline in the number of fresh travelers from occupied Kashmir in March compared to February this year. Official sources said that only 36 persons crossed over via the crossing points this March than above one hundred persons including 82 from Jammu in the month of February. However there was a considerable increase in the total number of travelers on either sides of the dividing line. 596 persons, including 472 via Chakan-Da-Bagh and remaining 124 through Aman Setu, crossed the LoC in March while only 419 made it in February last. While the number of fresh travelers to Azad Kashmir has been very low, occupied Kashmir has been the host to larger number of guests from the AJK in March. The number of first-timers from AJK in February was less than hundred, 211 people reached Kashmir to meet their divided family member after more than six decades after the Indo-Pak partition in 1947. Sources said that only nine first-timers from Jammu could make it to AJK from Chakan-Da-Bagh in weekly Poonch-Rawlakote bus service in March while 82 had crossed in February. 16 persons crossed at Aman Setu via Karvan-e-Aman bus service in February and 27 first-timers make it to AJK March this year. On March 2 and 9, no resident of occupied Kashmir was on board Poonch-Rawlakote bus service while 14 and 31 guests from AJK reached Jammu region. On March 16 and 23, only two and five citizens respectively left Poonch for AJK, 41 and 16 reached Poonch respectively. Only two traveled last Monday through the Chakan-Da-Bagh crossing point, 56 first-timers from AJK set foot in occupied Kashmir, first time after the line was drawn in 1947.