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Suspension of Gilgit-Pindi bus service threatened

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GILGIT:Office bearers of the Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) Transport Association and Kohistan Transport Association (KTA) on Saturday threatened to suspend the bus service between G-B and Rawalpindi over their disapproval of the ‘convoy system’.

HunzaNews April 20th, 2014.

At least 30 buses are escorted together on the Karakoram Highway (KKH) from Gilgit to Rawalpindi and made to stop at several check posts for clearance. As a result, people travelling on passenger buses have to travel for at least 26 hours instead of 13 to reach Rawalpindi from Gilgit.

The system was introduced as part of official security measures following terrorist attacks on the KKH in 2011-12, when selected passengers were made to disembark and were then shot dead on the strategic highway.

In case transporters go through with their threat, the plight of passengers will be exacerbated as they will be forced to spend extra on private vehicles.

We go on strike from April 24 if the convoy system is not abolished, threatened presidents of GTBA and KTA on Saturday.

“This system has bankrupted us and is also a source of humiliation for the passengers,” said KTA President Gul Khan. “We went to every official in Gilgit, Kohistan and Peshawar but didn’t get a positive response.”

In addition, transporters said, buses are made to stop in Besham for nearly eight hours during the night owing to security risks. However, this stop is a bane for passengers as the area lacks good hotels.

Express Tribune

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