Why punish the people
India and Pakistan have been on a warpath ever since the revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. The relations between the two countries have been on a confrontational mode since the two were carved as two nations from a same entity. The two countries experience a thaw in relations for few weeks or months and then a freeze takes over perhaps for much longer durations.
Both these situations have a telling effect on the masses living in both the countries. Whenever there is pliability in relations people living along the line of the divide intermingle and share the joy of good old times when they were united. These people share the joy and sorrow of life together. However, when the relations turn sour these very people bear the brunt as they get affected by the bad relations and cannot even get in touch with each other.
The people of Kashmir too become part of this folly as they too have a lot at stake when it comes to relations between India and Pakistan. The people in the divided region of Jammu and Kashmir have relations and friends living across and whenever relations drop to the level of stupidity, it’s these very people who have to face tough times.
The people in the region are experiencing pain and separation as one of the major Confidence Building Measure (CBM), the Karvan-e-Aman bus has been stopped after the relations between India and Pakistan experienced a congeal.
The chances of resumption of Karvan-e-Aman bus, operating between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) has turned bleak. The weekly bus service and cross-Line of Control (LoC) trade were suspended on March 4 this year, badly hitting the states subjects from both sides who were separated due to partition in 1947.
The bus was suspended on March this year following a request by PaK that some repair work of Kaman post bridge was to be undertaken. Later, the service could not be restored because of strained relations between the two countries due to continued ceasefire violation and cross border firing and shelling at the LoC and International Border (IB).
The peace bus has helped thousands of divided families to meet each other since it was introduced despite opposition by various organizations. Even many separatist leaders used to travel from this bus and the CMB had become a symbol of peace and unity.
Not only has the peace bus been put to halt but the cross border trade between the two sides also remained suspended after an order by Union Home Ministry was issued saying that it was being used for militant activities.
The two nations are once again missing a point. The peace bus or the cross LoC trade was connecting people of both the regions and it was a link that the people cherished on either side of the divide. Stopping this feature is nothing more than punishing the hapless Kashmiris.