IMTD For Muzaffarabad-Hazratbal Bus Service12 July 2011
Srinagar: Institute for Multi Track Diplomacy (IMTD), a Washington based think-tank, has called for starting bus service from Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) capital Muzaffarabad to Hazratbal shrine in Srinagar. Welcoming recent developments in Indo- Pak relations, IMTD’s Kashmir Program Manager Tanweer Wani in a statement mailed to Greater Kashmir, said that it had been pushing for the resumption of the sub-continental peace process that had come to standstill after 26-11 and the 2010 summer agitation in Kashmir. 'The pledge to resolve all the disputes including Kashmir is a measure progress on the Indo-Pak front,' the statement said adding that the benefit of CBMs should trickle down to the people of Kashmir. IMTD believes that its project of starting a pilgrim bus between Muzaffarabad and Hazratbal shrine has the potential of bringing such effect. “Much like the feel good factor served by the existing bus service, this special bus has the potential of pandering to the religious sentiment of the people who are emotionally and religiously attached to the shrine,” it said and added that IMTD has expressed a desire that its project of starting a special bus service should be included as a CBM in the upcoming round of talks between the two countries. “The special bus service project is one such measure which envisions a measure breakthrough in Indo-Pak relations through religious diplomacy. Apart from its positive effects on Indo-Pak relations the project recognizes a moral duty of bringing to the Hazratbal Shrine its devotees from the Pakistan side of Kashmir who find themselves divided by the border line,” it said.