Srinagar-Muzzafarabad Bus Service Thrown Open To All

23 May 2009

Srinagar: The bus service from Srinagar to Muzzafarabad in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) has been thrown open to everyone in India. Earlier, it was restricted only to people with relatives across the border. Government has eased the existing rules, as a result of which more people can now travel across the border. They don't need a valid passport but a permit issued by the passport officer in Kashmir is mandatory. The permit would be valid only for POK. 'The ministry has sent us clarifications that any Indian national can apply for cross LOC (Line of Control) travel. After applying and verifications we send the documents to the Pakistan authorities. It is up to the Pakistan authorities to accept or reject them,' said B.S Manavalan, regional passport officer, Srinagar. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also come up with a 'triple entry permit' for frequent travelers, which will put an end to the agony of going over the formalities repeatedly. People have welcomed this step and feel that the move will give a boost to cross border tourism.