Ceasefire violations likely to affect cross border trade between India, Pakistan

  • Poonch, ANI
  • Updated: Oct 17, 2014 17:56 IST

With cross-border shelling by Pakistan continuing unabated, trade is likely to be affected in the coming days.Nine Pakistani and eight Indian civilians have been killed since both sides' security forces started heavy shelling more than a week ago along a 200-km (125-mile) stretch of border in the disputed, mostly Muslim region of Kashmir.

Both countries accused each other of starting the latest hostilities that have hit heavily populated civilian areas.

Meanwhile, the custodian of cross-LoC trade at Chakan Da Bagh zero point, Mohammad Bashir Lone, said on Thursday (October 16) the Line of Control is a major trade point between both the nations and there has not been direct effect upon trade in Poonch district till now.

"There is insecurity in the minds of the traders.The ceasefire violation between both the nations develops insecurity in traders, employees and all the other people involved - the labours and drivers. But till now, by the grace of Almighty, the cross-LoC trade is good. However, if problem still continues, then it will be affected," said Lone.

Products like red chili, cumin, tamarind, bananas, mango, dry dates and dry fruits are exchanged between the two counties.

The cross-LoC trade was resumed earlier this week, after around three weeks of suspension, where goods worth rupees 11.7 million were traded.

This is the first major fighting with Pakistan that India's nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi has dealt with since taking office in May.

Almost 20,000 Indian civilians have fled their homes in the lowlands around India's Jammu region to escape the fighting, taking refuge in schools and relief camps.

Since they split 67 years ago, the nations have fought each other in three wars, two over Kashmir. There has not been a full-blown war since they both tested nuclear weapons in 1998.

Both claim all of Kashmir's Himalayan mountains and fertile valleys. Their shared border is among the most heavily militarized in the world and travel between the two nations is kept to a minimum.

India had earlier warned Pakistan it would pay an "unaffordable price" if it persisted with shelling and machine-gun fire across a heavily populated border area in the lowlands of Kashmir.

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