By Jalaluddin Mughal
Despite the Diwali vacations, Indo-Pak authorities, on Thursday opened the Chakothi crossing point at Line of Control (LoC) in the divided state of Jammu and Kashmir to facilitate the transfer of the dead body of woman who died in Muzaffarabad a night before.
On special days such as Eid and Diwali, the LoC crossing points have only been opened to exchange sweets between Indo-Pak forces to greet each other.
Salima Begum, 62, died in Muzaffarabad, the capitol city of Pakistan administered Kashmir, on Wednesday night while paying a visit to the other half of her divided family. She came to Muzaffarabad along with her husband Ghulam Hassan Pandit a couple of weeks ago through Srinagar-Muzaffarabad Bus Service to pay a condolence visit to the family of her brother-in-law, who died last month in Muzaffarabad.
She was scheduled to return home on October 16 but had to stay back due to the suspension of trade and travel activities in the ongoing week because of Diwali holidays in Indian administered Kashmir.
Begum was brought to Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan Hospital Muzaffarabad on early Wednesday evening after she felt a pain in arm. Doctor diagnosed cardiac arrest which she could survive for only a few hours.
Begum’s husband contacted the authorities on both sides of the LoC to paw a path for the transfer of her body back to her native town. In routine, in such cases it takes at least 24 to 48 hours to arrange the transfer of the body to opposite sides due to procedural complicacies involved in the process. However, authorities granted the special permission and arranged the handing-taking of Begum’s body within 12 hours of her demise.
According to reports, Begum was laid to rest in her native town Sopore—also known as the apple town of Kashmir.
India and Pakistan use to exchange sweets to greet each other on special days such as Eid and Diwali but the practice has not been repeated since 2016 after tension flared between neighboring atomic powers fighting over Kashmir since 70 years.