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India: Bus service linking Indian and Pakistani Kashmir remains suspended /update 1

Suspension of bus service linking India- and Pakistan-administered Kashmir enters 16th week on October 23

TIMEFRAME expected from 10/7/2017, 12h00 until 31/10/2017, 11h59 (Asia/Calcutta). COUNTRY/REGION India

Event

The bus service that crosses the Line of Control (LoC) on the Poonch-Rawalakot road between India- and Pakistan-administered Kashmir remains suspended as of Monday, October 23, due to continued ceasefire violations. Skirmishes between Indian and Pakistani soldiers regularly leave several dead and wounded along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir. Indian military sources claim that the Pakistani forces fire small arms and mortars unprovoked, while Pakistani military sources claim that the Indian side carries out mortar attacks without cause.

Context

The bus service was suspended on July 10 due to heavy firing and shelling from the Pakistani side.

There has been a notable uptick in skirmishes between Indian and Pakistani troops along the International Border (IB) and the LoC since 2016. Apart from military casualties, these incidents claimed civilian lives on both sides and prompted residents to flee border areas. Both New Delhi and Islamabad accuse each other of unprovoked shootings and other violations of ceasefire agreements.

Kashmir, the Himalayan region divided between India and Pakistan, is claimed by both countries in full. Since their independence from Britain in 1947, India and Pakistan have fought three wars, two exclusively over Kashmir. The total death toll from the conflict is estimated to be over 47,000.

Advice

Some foreign governments advise against travel to parts of Jammu and Kashmir state, in particular the Indian-Pakistani border region, due to the high threat of terrorism and other violence.

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