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India wants bus to cross LoC more often

Source: PTI
April 25, 2008 15:23 IST
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Keen to see enhanced cross-Line of Control travel and trade, India on Friday said it planned to liberalise the entry permit system and favoured increase in frequency of Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalakot bus services by making these weekly.

It also favoured early launch of bus services between Kargil in Ladakh and Skardu in Northern Areas under Pakistani control and Jammu and Sialkot in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Making a suo motu statement on Jammu and Kashmir in both Houses of Parliament, Home Minister Shivraj Patil said India will shortly discuss these issues with Pakistan.

"With a view to further consolidate the confidence building initiatives already taken, it has been planned to liberalise the entry permit system for cross-LoC travel by bringing in features like triple entry permits valid for one year and completion of the verification process within six weeks," he said.

For convenience of travellers, he said applications for entry permit can be made at each District Passport Collection Centre.

"These measures will expand travel across the LoC and also enable wider cultural, academic, students and other exchanges," Patil said.

He said India was also proposing increasing the frequency of Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalakote bus services to weekly from the current fortnightly.

India also favours early operationalisation of Kargil-Skardu and Jammu-Sialkot bus services, he said, adding that trade and truck services across the LoC will also be operationalised.
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