Chakothi-Uri point on LoC reopens today
8 November 2005
Muzaffarabad: The Chakothi-Uri point on the Line of Control will be reopened on Wednesday, but only the returning residents of Azad and occupied Kashmiris would be allowed to cross over to their respective sides. Additional Deputy Commissioner Muzaffarabad Ahmed Attaullah told Dawn here on Tuesday that 39 of the 44 residents of the held Kashmir who had arrived here by the trans-LoC bus service would return home from this point. The point was initially opened on April 7 with the launching of a bus service between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad to facilitate divided Kashmiri families. The service however had to be suspended two days after its 14th trip when an earthquake struck AJK and parts of the NWFP. Mr Attaullah said they had asked the residents of held Kashmir to reach Chakothi on their own by 8 am and added that crossing would take place around noon after completion of formalities. He said that AJK’s 31 residents were still on the other side of the LoC but there was no information as to how many of them would return on Wednesday. On Monday, the first of the five proposed crossing points along the heavily militarised LoC was opened near Tetrinote in the southern Poonch district. However, only relief goods were exchanged by both sides. Since the ‘Peace Bridge’ linking the two parts of Kashmir had been damaged by the quake, the travellers would walk on foot across a dried water channel on LoC. He said new travellers would be able to cross the LoC after a week when scrutiny of their application forms would be completed. Meanwhile, several people came to the office of deputy commissioner Muzaffarabad on Tuesday to obtain application forms for crossing the LoC returned empty handed as forms were not ready for distribution. Intending travellers will have to undergo the same procedure as was in vogue for journey by trans-LoC bus.