Sunday, October 30, 2005

Kashmir Border Opened to Aid Quake Victims

In an unprecedented move, India and Pakistan agreed earlier today to open up the heavily militarized frontier in the disputed Kashmir region to aid. LOC will be opened at 5 crossings. The U.N. humanitarian coordinator in the quake zone, Rashid Khalikov, also welcomed the Pakistan-India accord, calling it "a good step in this disastrous condition. It will open an opportunity to extend humanitarian help to the affected people in the far-flung villages alongside the Line of Control.

The border openings begin Nov. 7. Relief goods can be sent in either direction and handed over to local authorities at the crossings, the joint statement said. Civilians will be allowed to cross on foot, with priority given to families divided by the border. Procedures for crossing the border would be similar to those implemented earlier this year when the historic bus service between the two capitals of disputed Kashmir, Muzaffarabad and Srinagar, was restarted. People wanting to cross would have to apply for a permit from government officials on either side to verify their identities. The five crossings would be allowed at the Pakistani-Indian border towns of Nauseri-Teethwal, Chakothi-Uri, Hajipur-Uri, Rawalakot-Poonch, and Tattapani-Mendhar. Read More ....

Source: China Post via Earthquake Exodus
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