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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Jammu

LoC standoff: meeting on resuming cross-border trade ends in stalemate
Toufiq Rashid
Srinagar, February 04, 2014
First Published: 20:03 IST(4/2/2014)
Last Updated: 20:06 IST(4/2/2014)

An official meeting between Indian and Pakistani officials on resuming trade through the Line of Control (LoC) yet again ended in a stalemate on Tuesday.


An official in Kashmir said Pakistan was waiting for the finality of the bail application of the Pakistani driver arrested for smuggling brown sugar worth Rs. 100 crore into India before it takes a decision on the fate of 69 truckers stranded on either side of the LoC. "Pakistan is insisting that the driver was just a courier and not aware of the truck having narcotics in it. When we also pressed for his judicial remand, the judge asked for proof of his involvement which we don't have," said Shailendra Kumar, divisional commissioner of Kashmir.

"Now judiciary will take a view and Pakistan is likely to take a decision after that," he said.

Indian authorities had on January 17 seized brown sugar worth Rs. 100 crore from a truck from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), putting the trade and travel between the two separated parts of the state on hold. The contraband was hidden in a truck carrying almonds for a trader in North Kashmir.

PoK authorities have detained 27 trucks and drivers of India at Chakoti in PoK, following the drug seizure. The closure of LoC has led to 48 Pakistani drivers being stranded at Salamabad Trade Facilitation Centre in Baramulla.


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