A delegation from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) is likely to visit Jammu and Kashmir next week to give final shape to the cross-border trade along the Line of Control as India and Pakistan have finalised a list of 21 items each to be traded.
The list includes the famous "crewel" embroided items, fresh fruits, medicinal herb and carpets from Kashmir to PoK and jahnamaz (prayer mats) and tasbih (rosaries), precious stones, namdas, Peshawari leather chappals (footwear) from across the LoC into the state.
The delegation would be holding discussion with Kashmir Chambers of Commerce before going to Jammu to hold a meeting with business houses in that city, sources said, adding the two sides would be firming up loose ends so that the trade across the LoC begins from October 21.
Among the list cleared for trade from Jammu and Kashmir include carpets and rugs, wall hangings, shawls and stoles, namdas (a kind of mattress), embroidered items including crewel, furniture including walnut furniture, wooden handicrafts, fresh fruits and vegetables, saffron, rubberised coir, foam mattresses, cushions, pillows, quilts and medicinal herbs.
Kashmir has age old tradition of crewel skilled crafts which is mostly done by hand and carefully highlights uniformity and consistency in stitches with fine thread knots. It is mostly done with chain stitches with delicacy of details, the motifs are generally floral, tree of life, birds, geometrical and animals.
Besides this, Saffron will be another novelty of Kashmir that has been kept in the list of commodities on which duty would not be imposed, the sources said.
Among other things that will be traded from Jammu and Kashmir to PoK will be aromatic plants, fruit-bearing plants coriander, tamarind, black mushrooms, Kashmiri spices, rajmah (kind of pulses), honey and paper-mach products.
The list of commodities from Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir side which will not have any duty from Indian side include medicinal herbs, raw maize and maize products, fresh fruits and vegetables, dry fruits including walnuts, honey, tamarind, black mushroom, furniture including walnut furniture, wooden handicrafts, carpets and rugs, wall hangings, embroided items, foam mattresses, cushions, pillows, quilts, shawls and stoles.
The infrastructural facilities at Salamabad, near Uri, on this side of the Line of Control, would be completed by October seven.
Adequate infrastructure facilities at Chakan-da-Bagh in Poonch district for commencing trade through the Poonch-Rawalakote Road are also being put in place.
India suggested cross-LoC trade in 2005 when the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service was launched and a year later proposed a meeting between businessmen of the two sides but things got moving in July this year when the foreign secretaries exchanged lists of commodities with zero-tariff regime and indicated the items either side was willing to receive.