Bus pioneers breach Kashmir's 'Berlin wall'
 
Tearful passengers hail peace breakthrough after defying militants to open new link across disputed region

Randeep Ramesh on the Indian side of the Kashmir line of control and Declan Walsh on the Pakistani side
Friday April 8, 2005
The Guardian


Showered in tears and draped in saffron garlands, 49 bus passengers crossed the heavily guarded ceasefire line dividing Kashmir yesterday for the first time in almost 60 years, defying Islamic insurgents' threats to turn the trip into their last.

The first to arrive at Kaman bridge, which straddles the line of control slicing Kashmir between Pakistan and India, was a 30-strong group from Pakistani Kashmir.

Cheering villagers lined the hamlets of the picturesque Kashmir Valley as the bus - launching a fortnightly service - wound its way to the line of control, where it halted before a deep gully.

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"We are ambassadors of peace," said Syed Shahid Baher, 36, a lawyer clutching a camera and a book of Urdu

 
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