Pakistan on Thursday condemned the unilateral suspension of trade by India across the Line of Control and expressed hope that it resumes soon as the step is a “confidence building measure” between the two nations.
Hardening its stand against Pakistan, India last week indefinitely suspended cross-LoC trade at two points along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, following reports that it was being “misused” by elements from across the border to smuggle weapons, narcotics and fake currency.
Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal condemned the unilateral suspension of the trade by India and said, “We hope that trade is resumed soon, as it is a confidence building measure between the two countries.”
The trade was halted at Salamabad of Baramulla in Kashmir region, and Chakkan-da-Bagh of Poonch district in Jammu region.
The cross-LoC trade on Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalakote routes was started on October 21, 2008 as a Confidence Building Measure (CBM).
Trade since 2008 till the 2017 fiscal stood at over Rs 4,400 crore at the Uri trading centre, while the figure for the same period at Poonch stood ar Rs 2,542 crore.
Initially, 646 businessmen from Jammu and Kashmir had registered for trading in the two crossing points, but the number now stands at around 280, who are actually involved in conducting the business.
When the cross LoC trade started, initially the business was for two days but from October 15, 2011, trading days were extended to four.