PoK public servants denied permission to visit Kashmir
31 May 2006
Jammu: Public servants in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir are being denied permission to visit Jammu and Kashmir. This has hindered the reunion of hundreds of divided families on either side of the Line of Control. Five points were opened along the LoC, as part of the confidence-building measures between India and Pakistan, to facilitate interaction of the divided families. There has been a sudden spurt in the movement of civilians across the LoC. Though the PoK Government has not issued any written order, there is an undeclared ban on the travel of government employees to India. For instance, permission to eight of them, who had to cross the Uri- Chakoti point a few days ago, was withdrawn at the last moment. The restriction has denied a vast number of people a chance to be united with their loved ones. Many of them have never met their relatives across the LoC for decades. The number of civilians in the PoK administration is large, as government service is the main source of employment in the province. Incidentally, many retired government servants have been allowed to come to Jammu and Kashmir.