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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

No trucks from Pak, trade on LoC fails to resume

Toufiq Rashid, Hindustan Times  Srinagar, February 20, 2014
First Published: 18:48 IST(20/2/2014) | Last Updated: 18:50 IST(20/2/2014)

Cross-border trade between the two divided parts of Jammu and Kashmir failed to resume on Thursday, in spite of a decision to this effect taken at a meeting on the Line of Control (LoC) on Tuesday evening.

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The trade was likely to be resumed more than a month after Indian authorities recovered drugs from a truck carrying goods from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

"Our trucks were ready, but no truck came from the Pakistani side," said Showkat Ahmad Rather, custodian of the Salamabad trade facilitation centre.

"The cross-LoC trade is based on the barter system, with goods being exchanged for goods. As no truck came from that side, we did not allow any trucks to cross over," he added.

Rather added that PoK traders had asked for a meeting with the trade union from Kashmir on February 24, before the trade could start. "We have informed the authorities about their demand," he said.

Officials from both sides had decided that trade would be resumed on February 20, after intense negotiations at the diplomatic level, and a meeting was held at Kaman post on Tuesday to end the deadlock.

Pakistani authorities had agreed not to insist on the release of the driver apprehended with brown sugar worth Rs. 100 crore, as the case was in court, and the trade was to resume on the basis of the same operating procedures.

"The resumption might take time, but there is no problem at the diplomatic level. The traders want to talk to each other, and the trade will resume in a few days," said Kashmir divisional commissioner Shailendra Kumar.


 

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