Tension as Kashmiri aid exchanged
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LINE OF CONTROL, Pakistani-controlled Kashmir (CNN) -- Pakistani police fired warning shots and tear gas as people tried to cross into Indian-controlled Kashmir during a ceremonial opening of the heavily-guarded Line of Control to deliver relief supplies to earthquake victims.
CNN's Stan Grant said tensions had been building Monday after initial promises that people, in addition to aid, would be allowed to cross. The crowds on the Pakistani side made several runs toward India before being rebuffed.
At one point, Grant said, "all hell broke loose" before tensions eased.
Logistical issues delayed the opening of another four crossings, with each government blaming the other for failing to provide proper documentation so residents could make the trip across the Line of Control.
Last month, both governments released a statement saying the crossings would be open Monday as a "humanitarian measure" to foster earthquake relief efforts.
A 7.6-magnitude quake October 8 killed more than 73,000 people in Pakistan and left millions homeless. Another 1,200 people died in Indian-controlled Kashmir.
Navtej Sarna, a spokesman for the Indian government, said in addition to the Rawalakot-Poonch crossing which opened Monday, two others will open later in the week, perhaps by Wednesday, he told CNN, and the remaining two will open at a later date that has not been determined.
The reasons for the delay, he said, were that roads and bridges would need to be repaired, and in one place mines would have to be removed along the Line of Control. Pakistan and India have long been at odds over the disputed region.
In Pakistan, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam said Sunday that all five crossings would be ready Monday, but said the Pakistanis had received notification from India that only the Rawalakot-Poonch crossing would open on the Indian side.
"Our expectation was that these points would be ready, but if it's delayed for two or three days, I think that is manageable," she told CNN. "We would have liked to expedite these procedures."
Aslam said she was not sure whether citizens will be allowed to cross, and that a decision on the matter would likely be made on Monday.
"We would hope that politics will not get in the way," she said. "This is a humanitarian mission."
The statement issued last month by both countries said, "it was agreed that because of non-availability of or damage to infrastructure on these points, crossings across the LoC (Line of Control) would be permitted on foot." Also, the countries said, priority will be given to members of divided families across the line.
-- CNN reporters Satinder Bindra and Stan Grant and producer Syed Mohsin Naqvi contributed to this report
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