Cross-LoC trade resumes


SRINAGAR: After a breakthrough on 40-day long stalemate, the cross LoC trade resumed on Thursday  with 24 trucks plying between Uri and Chakoti in Pakistan Administered Kashmir.

According to Farooq Ahmad Lone, the deputy commissioner Baramulla,  two trucks coming from PAK were received by traders in Uri while 22 trucks with goods reached Chakoti.

“Out of these 22, only 17 were unloaded there as traders for the rest five truckloads had not arrived, so the five trucks returned without unloading at Chakoti.”

The DC Baramulla said that on Friday the traders from this side of the LoC are further scheduled to push their shipment to Chakoti. “The Cross LOC trade has resumed  and is going on without any hassles,” Mr Lone said. The Cross LoC trade had come a grinding halt after recovery of 114 packets of brown sugar from a truck coming from PAK at the Salamabad trade facilitation centre on January 17, this year.

The trade was hit when 45 drivers from PAK were held back in the valley, while 27 Kashmir-based traders were not allowed to return from Muzaffarabad. Pakistan was demanding release of the arrested driver (from whose truck the concealed brown sugar was seized), to resume the trade.

On February 12 senior officials of the foreign offices of the two countries reached an agreement on the resumption of trade, which started in 2008 and was touted as one of the biggest confidence building measures (CBM) to create conducive atmosphere between India and Pakistan.  

Welcoming resumption of cross-LoC trade on Srinagar-Muzaffarabad route, Patron Peoples Democratic Party Mufti Muhammad Sayeed Thursday once again batted for opening of all the traditional routes through Kashmir, Jammu, Ladakh and Kargil regions so as to facilitate strengthening of ties between the two neighbouring countries.

Addressing a public meeting on the outskirts of winter capital, the former Chief Minister said that healthy, cordial and peaceful relations between Indian and Pakistan were always in the interest of the two nations and every effort should have been made to carry forward the efforts undertaken by the previous government in state.

Reiterating that the cross-LoC trade and travel are the only achievements for the people of Jammu and Kashmir since independence in their effort to end the siege around the state, Sayeed said that time has come to take these relations to next level. “The trade and travel across the Line of Control shall not only be strengthen but a more effective mechanism should be established to curb any attempt to cause a setback to the process of reconciliation started in 2003”, he said.

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