Expats welcome bus yatra

DUBAI — Indian and Pakistani expats living in the UAE have welcomed the initiative to introduce trans-border bus service between the two sides of Kashmir on Thursday.

By Asma Ali Zain And Prerna Suri

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Published: Fri 8 Apr 2005, 11:50 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 6:58 PM

K.V. Shamshuddin, Chairman, Pravasi Bandhu Trust, sees the bus yatra as a "great step in the peace process between India and Pakistan."

"Not only will long lost relatives be reunited with each other across the borders, but this will also provide an opportunity to build up genuine goodwill between the two countries. Both governments should, however, take adequate steps to protect the citizens of the two countries.

“The recent acts of terrorism in trying to sabotage the bus yatra should not be allowed to recur since this would hinder the peace process. Both India and Pakistan should be hailed for renewing their common cultural ties as is evident from the recent renewal of cricketing ties as well as easing of visa restrictions.

“As an Indian, I am very happy and proud to see the two governments genuinely trying to bridge the gap," he said.

Says Faisal Khilji, a Pakistani businessman: "I will not hesitate to say that the bus service will bring some relief to the sufferings of Kashmiri families separated by a political divide for decades. The historic moment has come, and this should encourage other peace initiatives between Pakistan and India.

“However, allowing people to cross borders is not the same as letting them 'live' together. We must not see this as a final solution, but only a means to the final solution. And Inshallah a very catalytic one."

S. Anwar Basha, an Indian social worker, described the bus service as "just one of the steps the two countries had taken to renew and revive friendship between them."

"There are bound to be some problems in the initial stages, particularly since there are forces trying to sabotage the peace process. But, once people's faith in the bus service is established, it should be smooth sailing after that.

“This step should have been taken a long time ago, but politicians from either side tend to create friction for their own gains. Both the governments have to be congratulated for bringing our brothers and sisters closer to each other," he said.

Saleem Farooque, a Pakistani businessman, stating that the bus service was a welcome start, said any action that can bring the two nations together was welcome, but all such moves should be permanent if the core issue of Kashmir has to be resolved.

Nazia Khan, a housewife from Muzaffarabad says: "Though the resumption of such bus services is nothing new, the initiative is welcome. The launch of such a service does not mean that the issue should be left dangling. We, the people of Kashmir, are still looking forward to the time when we will get our right to self-determination."

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