Eleven years after the launch of trans-LoC bus not much has changed for the divided families of the state. The bus was described as a strong confidence building measure (CBM) but it failed to achieve the objectives in totality, for a host of reasons. The people by and large welcomed the CBM but the process of getting a seat in the Karvaan-e-Aman is too cumbersome. Unless the process is smoothened, the bus will not serve the desired purpose. The cynicism of the people is not totally unfounded.
There have been times when the bus has traveled to Muzaffarabad without having any passenger on board. People find it easy to reach Muzaffarabad via Wagah rather than traveling in the bus. The divided families can benefit a lot by restoration of tele-ties across the LoC. While Pakistan administered Kashmir did not snap the ties, the Indian side of Kashmir seems in no mood to revive the ties that were snapped in the early phases of militancy.
Even incoming calls from Pakistan administered Kashmir put people to inconvenience. The Intelligence sleuths call the person to the police station and question him thoroughly. Restoration of tele-links can be a forceful CBM, believe the members of the divided families on this side of the Line. The snapping of ties also makes no sense in the internet age when one has the world at his finger tips. The authorities fear that restoration of tele-ties would hamper security of the state. The people who really can pose a threat to the security of the state use sophisticated equipment to communicate and the authorities including the intelligence sleuths know it fully.
The phone on the other hand is used mostly by people who have no access to internet and other modern equipment. Snapping the ties, therefore, makes no sense. The authorities must reconsider the decision and resume the ties as soon as possible. This will be the best CBM so far and can go a long way in uniting the divided families. In a global village people have to stay connected.