Traders Accuse GoI of Callous Approach, Suspend LOC Trade

SRINAGAR: Holding Government of India directly responsible for the slow death of Cross-LoC Trade, Salamabad-Chakoti Traders Union (SCTU) Saturday said that it would bring LoC trade to grinding halt from September 3. They said that LoC trade is breathing its last due to callous approach of New Delhi.     

Addressing a press conference here, SCTU said that authorities were treating traders as smugglers and rather than facilitating trade they were creating impediments.     

“Most of the traders are barred from trade for illogical reasons. They are being told that their relatives were involved in militancy related incidents. This is the repeat of infamous ‘passport policy’ which has been a great embarrassment for India,” the Union leaders said.    

The traders said that at the beginning of the trade, there were about more than 600 traders involved, but gradually the number came down and today it is less than 50 traders. But now custom officials at Trade Facilitation Centre give their own diktat that in the trade only Pakistan administered Kashmir products can arrive and not the products from rest of Pakistan.    

“This in a way tantamount to giving PaK, a status of separate country and negating India’s stand on it. This weird order and other discouraging steps have brought trade to a dead end with only two to three non lucrative tradable items left for it,” the Union said.    

The Union said that any damage lent to cross LoC trade would mean fatal blow to the overall Confidence Building Measure (CBM) and shattering of hopes of already tension hit youth of Kashmir which can have grave repercussions.

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