Cafe Freedom: A cafe on India-Pakistan border is a hangout for Uri youth

Next time you are in Kashmir, don’t forget to visit Café Freedom, a one-of-its-kind café located at the Kaman Post in Uri, just a stone’s throw away from Khalin-Da-Khas Nalla, a small river that separates Kashmir from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). In 2005, after India and Pakistan agreed to start bus services across the LoC, a bridge—Kaman Aman Setu—was rebuilt over the river, leading to the Kaman trading point on the LoC.

In April last year, the bus service was discontinued and trade stopped to stem the smuggling of narcotics and arms. The Kaman Aman Setu, aka the friendship bridge, has remained shut ever since. The Setu bears Indian flags on its Indian side and Pakistani flags on its Pakistani side. It used to be a major tourist attraction.

The café, run by the Indian Army, was inaugurated on May 18 by wives of soldiers martyred at Uri. The café is now a magnet for the residents of nearby hill villages. “Students from all over Uri come to unwind and enjoy…

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