Seventy seven residents of Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) today travelled by the cross-LoC bus to meet their relatives on the two sides of the Line of Control, officials said. Fourty eight PoK residents arrived here on the cross-LoC bus service via Poonch-Rawalakot in Jammu and Kashmir, a senior official said. From India, 22 PoK residents returned on the LoC bus, while six freshers from India travelled on the LoC bus to PoK, he said. The weekly bus service, popularly known as paigam-e-amun or message of peace, resumed on November 6 after remaining suspended for nearly four months owing to heavy Pakistani shelling along the LoC in Poonch district. Billed as the biggest confidence building measure, the bus service was started on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad route in the Kashmir Valley in April 2005 and the Poonch-Rawalakot route in the Jammu region on June 20, 2006, to facilitate easier trade and travel between the divided families of Jammu and Kashmir and the PoK. The trade between the two parts of Kashmir started in October 2008 on barter system.
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