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Tearful Reunions Mark Muzaffarabad Bus Arrival

The arrival at Srinagar of the bus from Muzaffarabad resulted in a tearful reunion Thursday between two brothers from the divided parts of Kashmir who had not seen each other for two decades, Indo-Asian News Service reported.

As the bus carrying 30 passengers from Pakistan-administered Kashmir stopped at the sprawling Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Complex to a tumultuous welcome, Irshad Ahmad Bhat was enveloped in a bear hug by his younger brother.

"We have got the biggest gifts of our lifetime in this meeting," said Irshad, while his younger brother, a resident of this summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, wiped his tears.

There were other emotional reunions as travelers from Pakistani Kashmir greeted their relatives living on this side of the Line of Control (LoC), who had turned up to receive them.

Indian administered Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed and Indian central minister Ghulam Nabi Azad headed the team that welcomed the travelers with garlands, while a police band played awelcome tune, making the embraces between relatives more memorable.

The bus carrying the passengers from Pakistani Kashmir reached Srinagar at least three and a half hours late because of delays caused by impromptu roadside receptions hosted by people, who ignored threats against the service by guerrillas.

(Xinhua News Agency April 8, 2005)

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