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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

Cross-LoC trade must not stop, says Kashmir CM Mehbooba, calling for better ties

Jammu and Kashmir CMsaid the PDP will try to open more routes for trade between people on both sides of the Line of Control

india Updated: Jul 29, 2017 19:04 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Press Trust of India, Srinagar
Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti at the PDP foundation day function in Srinagar.
Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti at the PDP foundation day function in Srinagar.(HT Photo/Waseem Andrabi )

Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said on Saturday she will not let trade across the volatile Line of Control with Pakistan be halted, insisting that it was a step that could help ease tensions between India and Pakistan.

Trade between the two sides was stopped on July 21 after police seized a large quantity of narcotics from a truck entering the Indian side.

“Such things happen at Wagah border as well, drug consignments have been caught many times but trade has never been stopped. It cannot happen here, we won’t allow it,” she said.

Calling the trade route a brain child of her father and former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Mehbooba said her government will try to open more routes across the Line of Control with Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

She said more transparency, full body scanners for trucks and fool proof security measure could be adopted.

“What we in PDP have achieved since 2002 needs to be taken forward,” she said. Mehbooba was speaking at a rally marking the 18th foundation day of her People’s Democratic Party in Srinagar.

Mehbooba also pitched for nominating members to the legislative assembly from the other side of LoC so that joint meetings could be held once in a year.

“Jammu and Kashmir can serve a bridge between India and Pakistan. The state is crown of India and you have to give the crown that respect,” she added.

The chief minister also appealed to all mainstream parties, including coalition partner BJP and the opposition National Conference and Congress, to shed political differences and come together to find a permanent solution to Kashmir.

The chief minister also thanked people, mostly her party workers, for fighting odds and still holding on to the beliefs and principles of the party. “I thank you for coming here, it is a heartening feeling for me,” she said.

The PDP was founded on July 28, 1999 but the function was deferred owing to Friday prayers.

First Published: Jul 29, 2017 14:47 IST