Asia

India and Pakistan halt Kashmir bus in drugs row

Passengers board an Indian Jammu and Kashmir state government bus departing to Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, at the Chakan-da-Bagh outpost near Poonch, some 250 kilometres from Jammu, the winter capital of Kashmir, on 28 January 2013 Image copyright AFP
Image caption The bus has been seen as a sign of warming ties between the two sides

India and Pakistan have suspended a bus service linking divided Kashmir, amid a row over alleged drug trafficking.

Trade across the de facto Kashmir border was also put on hold over the weekend when India accused Pakistani lorry drivers of transporting opium.

Officials were meeting on Monday to try to resolve the issue.

Trade between the two sides in the region resumed in 2008 after being closed for decades.

Bus services between Srinagar in Indian-administered Kashmir and Muzaffarabad in Pakistan's sector resumed in 2005.

Cross-border trade and transport have been seen as a sign of India and Pakistan's improving relations, though both have been suspended several times over the years at times of high tension.

India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars since independence from Britain in 1947 over the disputed Himalayan territory. Both claim Kashmir in its entirety.

Recent months have seen an upsurge in tensions and cross-border shelling in the region.

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