The much hyped cross LoC trade of fresh and dry fruits is hanging in mid way as the fruit cultivators of Kashmir valley have decided not to send any new consignment of fresh or dry fruit to Pakistan-Administered Kashmir (PAK).
The Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers Association (KVFGA) haven't received the payment of more than Rs 3 crore of fruit consignment sent last year to PAK when the cross LoC trade was officially started.
The cross LoC trade between PAK and Jammu and Kashmir was started in October last year after KVFGA refused to continue trade with Jammu-based traders after the alleged economic blockade during Amarnath land row agitation. On August 12, 2008 KVFGA marched towards Muzzaffarabad through Uri with loaded trucks of fresh fruits, but couldn't succeed as the state administration didn't allow it to happen.
With this act of valley based traders, government of India decided to officially start the trade between two sides of J&K on LoC on October 21, 2008 after the gap of 61 years.
But the trade got a big jolt when KVFGA decided that they will not send any fresh consignment of fresh and dry fruit to PAK.
over phone line from Srinagar, former convener KVFGA Ghulam Rasool Butt said, "From last year the payment of Rs 3 crore is still pending with the traders of PAK. Irony is that we don't know with whom the payment is pending. We are not against the trade but how it is possible to take the trade forward without getting the payment."
"We have given blood to start this trade and we don't want this trade to be stopped but temporarily we have stopped the trade because of few technical difficulties," Butt said, adding, "We are demanding from governments of India and Pakistan to give more facilities like banking where traders from both sides could do easy banking and could transfer money, communication facilities and easy access for traders to both parts of J&K."
Butt believed that this trade if continued could heal the wounds of people of both parts of J&K and could lead to peace in the sub continent. "But the condition is that it needs sincere efforts from people sitting at helm the affairs in India and Pakistan," But added.
Ghulam Rasool Butt warned both state and central government for dire consequences if they don't take concrete steps to address the demands of traders. He said, "We will again come on streets and will launch mass agitation if our demands are not met."