Drug recovery leads to LoC Stand Off

PaK detains trade convoy, suspends trade 

SRINAGAR: The recovery of brown sugar from a truck involved in Cross LoC trade on Friday has led to a major standoff with officials from Pakistan controlled Kashmir (PcK) detaining the trade convoy that had crossed over on Friday from this side, and refusing to take back their ‘incomplete convoy’.

Authorities at the Trade Facilitation Centre, Salamabad Friday claimed recovery of some 114 Kg of illicit Brown Sugar from one of the trucks coming from PcK. The drugs were hidden in a consignment of almonds meant for a trader from Bandipore. 

The driver and the truck were detained leading to today’s stand-off, with Pakistan refusing to accept only 48 of the 49 truck convoy that had crossed over to this side. 

Deputy Inspector General, north Kashmir, JP Singh told media persons in Baramulla today that 25 trucks from this side have been detained by PcK authorities. The estimated worth of the haul is said to be about Rs 114 Cr in international market.

Singh said the businessmen associated with the trade will be investigated about the seizure.

“We have already detained some traders in this connection,” he said, adding “the credentials of all the traders who are part of the Cross LoC trade will be investigated properly to avoid any untoward incident.”

“The drugs may have been sent by ISI or any other agency based in Pakistan to foment trouble in Kashmir,” he alleged.

“ISI and other agencies in Pakistan want to mislead Kashmiri youth. The consignment may have been part of the conspiracy, we are going to investigate it thoroughly,” he said.

Later, a meeting between officials of the two sides held at Kaman Post in the afternoon failed to resolve the issue, with the Indian side insisting that an illegal act had taken place, while Pakistani side insisting on the driver’s immediate release. 

The meeting, according to sources lasted for some two hours.  The PcK side was led by  DG Trade, Retired Brigadier Mohammad Ismael Khan  while J&K side was represented by Deputy Commissioner Baramulla  Ghulam Ahmed Khawaja, SSP Baramullah Zubair Ahmad Khan and SDM Uri Abdul Aziz.

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