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India-Pakistan split deepens with train travel block

Video credit: Reuters Studio
Published on August 8, 2019 - Duration: 01:43s

India-Pakistan split deepens with train travel block

India has urged Pakistan to review its decision to downgrade diplomatic ties over the withdrawal of special status to Kashmir, as its neighbor halted the main train service between the two countries.

Joe Davies reports.

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India-Pakistan split deepens with train travel block

The Pakistan-India border has seen friction many times before.

And Kashmir now, as in the past, has had as good a view as any.

There is no cross-border trade currently passing here, after Pakistan put a stop to it.

Their main train service to India has also been halted - and Indian films banned.

Pakistan is furious at the Indian government's decision to revoke Kashmir's special status - part of a bid to integrate the Muslim-majority state with the rest of the country.

On Thursday, India urged its neighbour to think again, and said it's time to restore diplomatic ties and trade.

(SOUNDBITE) (Hindi) PRESIDENT, INDO-FOREIGN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, B.K.

BAJAJ, SAYING: "This (suspension of India-Pakistan trade) will have no effect on India.

We have wanted friendship with them at all the times but it is their wish to close border.

The economy of India is so big that for us it is not an issue.

Their economy is small by comparison so it will affect them." Caught in the middle of it all, Shabana Kausar and her five children.

They live barely four kilometres from what's known as the Line of Control, the ceasefire line that divides the nuclear-armed rivals.

Shabana's husband runs a small business in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

He visits them at weekends.

(SOUNDBITE) (Urdu) MOTHER, SHABANA KAUSAR, SAYING: "There is enough room (in the bunker) for all family members to hide easily.

But at times we have to accommodate neighbours as well who don't have these bunkers.

So, we all come and hide ourselves here to save our lives." India and Pakistan have twice waged war over Kashmir - and in February engaged in an aerial clash.

Many here fear more of the same, in this bitterly contested state.

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