Don’t make LoC trade casualty: Stakeholders

Indo-Pak Tension

MUKEET AKMALI

Srinagar, Jan 12:  The Cross LoC trade— one of the biggest Confidence Building Measures between India and Pakistan— is fast becoming casualty to ongoing tension between two countries, traders here said today.
 Started with much fanfare, the trade across the LoC, which according to traders here had already largely lost its sheen to “restrictions” put by authorities “has now become the casualty of the ongoing skirmishes on the LoC between the two countries.”
 President, Jammu and Kashmir, Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JK-JCCI), Mubeen Shah, while talking to Greater Kashmir online from Malaysia, said it is unfortunate that the cross LoC has almost become the casualty of the tension prevailing between India and Pakistan.
 Shah said: “Any further escalation in the tension between the two countries can kill the trade which is already suffering from the inherent deficiencies.”
 The Valley-based traders appealed the two countries not to make the cross-LoC trade a casualty.
 Chairman, Kashmir Economic Alliance, Muhammad Yaseen Khan appealed both the governments not to stop the cross LoC trade.
 “The trade has a great potential but unfortunately due to some unknown reasons authorities from both India and Pakistan never allowed it to flourish and now the firing incident has rendered this trade non-functional,” Khan said.
 He said: “It is very disturbing when trade from Punjab and other states can go on with Pakistan, why only trading points in the state are contingent upon the good relations between two countries. There may be diplomatic strain between India and Pakistan but we would want it to be linked to trade.”
 Earlier, on Thursday, Pakistani authorities refused to allow trucks from India carrying goods at Chakan Da Bagh, in the backdrop of tense bilateral relations following ceasefire violations.
  “We have been working tirelessly for the development of cross LoC trade although this trade wasn’t giving any profit to us. But we had given our consent in the hope that it will work as the greatest CBM and reduce tension between India and Pakistan,” said Muhammad Jabar, a cross LoC trader.
 To mention, the governments of India and Pakistan have agreed on 22 items that can be traded along the LoC. However the traders complained that only 2 to 3 were presently being allowed.
  “Most of the items have been unofficially banned by the government. It seems that the government of India and state government do not want to see the LoC trade flourishing,” the traders alleged.
 The traders said even before the tension was triggered between the two countries, the government of India had banned trade of garlic and groundnut leaving just fresh fruits “for us to trade across the LoC.”

Lastupdate on : Sat, 12 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 12 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 13 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST




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