The Indian government on Monday suspended the Srinagar to Muzaffarabad “peace bus” service, following the terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on February 14, which killed 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel. The Jaish-e-Mohammed extremist group claimed responsibility for the attack.
“Due to the prevailing law and order situation [the Pulwama attack], the weekly Line of Control bus service and trade have been put on hold,” Poonch Deputy Commissioner Rahul Yadav told the Hindustan Times.
The Tribune reported that the bus service has been halted only for one day, quoting an unidentified police officer in Baramulla. However, the duration of suspension was not confirmed by other media reports.
The Jammu and Kashmir government also halted trade with Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, The Express Tribune reported. Border trade activities take place from Tuesday to Friday. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs directed the state government to halt trade.
The bus service, the brainchild of former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, was started on June 20, 2006, the Hindustan Times reported. It operates only on Monday and allows divided families to meet.
On February 15, India revoked Pakistan’s Most Favoured Nation tag, and said it would isolate Islamabad globally. India has accorded the status to all members of the World Trade Organisation in accordance with provisions of the Article 1 of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, 1994.
On Sunday, the Centre decided to withdraw the security cover provided to five Kashmiri separatists – Hurriyat Conference leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Shabir Shah, Hashim Qureshi, Bilal Lone and Abdul Ghani Bhat.