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Sialkot road issue raises aspirations

CM's statement has once again raised hopes and speculation within the trading community, reports Sanjay Khajuria.

india Updated: Feb 02, 2007 22:24 IST

Chief minister's statement saying he will take up the issue of 'resumption of Jammu-Suchetgarh- Sialkote route' once again has raised hopes and speculation within the trading community which anchored hopes for Jammu a 'hub of trade and economics in near future if route is opened.'

Though the demand of resumption of this route has been raised when the ice started melting within the initiation of Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) by NDA Government and coalition government in the state but yet it could not find an end. But it was news item 'Center has no plan to restore Jammu Sialkote link' appeared in a national pinned down the voices from various political and non-political parties propagating the same.

This news item on August 10, 2006 in Asian Age under the heading 'No plan to restore Sialkote Link' was a reply in Rajya Sabha by the Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahmed which played a spoil sport in this issue and dampen the spirits.

It is to mention that during the ongoing CBMs started in 2004 including foreign secretary level talks on the framework of composite dialogue in June 2004, the Indian side had proposed a number of cooperation measures to Pakistan. Further to add be it PDP or the moderate Hurriyat conglomerate all stressed for measures focused for enhancing people-to-people contact across the international border and LoC including Jammu-Sialkote and Kargil-Skardu bus links but why the central government turned its aside no one knows.

Jammu Sialkote link now has become a potent weapon in the political arsenal of the political parties as all have meekly succumbed to the pressure maintained by PDP and the aspirations of the people connected with this decision. Not only PDP that has opening of route especially Uri Muzafferbad in its manifesto all Jammu based political parties even the Peoples Democratic Party too now and then has demanded the opening of the other routes including this to give a boost to the economy of the state.

While Annil Suri an eminent industrialist and ex-president Bari Brahmana Industrial Association personally observed that statement from none else but Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has raised hopes once again about a dream that might turn into a reality one day with sustained and dedicated efforts. He said, "they say history repeats and Jammu once again will emerge as an epicenter of trade and economic
activity.'

Bodh Raj forth generation descendent from a migrated family reflecting on this issue too said that this would be one of the best and short linkage between the two nation like Kokrajhar in Gujarat-Rajashthan border with Pakistan not only for the improved trade relations but also for enhanced people to people contact.