Once A Battlefront, Now A Picnic Spot In Valley

Once A Battlefront, Now A Picnic Spot In Valley

23 April 2012
The Indian Express
Sheikh Saleem

Srinagar: Once a battleground between Indian and Pakistan soldiers, Kaman Post on the Line of Control in Uri is turning into a favorite picnic spot for children. As schools in the Valley undertake picnics with the onset of spring every year, a large number of schools are making trips to the LoC this time. “This is a great experience as I got an opportunity to visit the last point on the LoC,’’ said Mohammad Mushahid, who travelled all the way from Ganderbal. At Kaman Post, Mushahid clicked pictures with a driver who had come from Muzaffarabd with a goods truck. “Before visiting this place, I had only heard about the LoC and Kaman Post through newspapers and news channels. But today, I am here and exchanging pleasantries with a person who came from PoK.’’ Kaman was not always peaceful and the Indian and Pakistani soldiers frequently used to exchange fire and artillery. But the ceasefire on November 25, 2003, and the subsequent resumption of bus service - Carvan-e-Aman (Peace Bus) - and trade between the two divided parts of Kashmir has made the post a symbol of peace. The Army has even named the last bridge on the LoC as Aman Setu (Peace Bridge). And after initial hiccups, the Army and the district administration have facilitated trips of schoolchildren to this last point on this side of the Line of Control. At Kaman, most students and teachers take pictures close to the white bridge to show how close they were to the LoC. Some also wave towards Pakistani soldiers whose underground bunkers are visible from the bridge.