Tests confirm Pak truck was carrying brown sugar
A forensic analysis has confirmed that the consignment of narcotics which was seized from a Pakistani truck in Kashmir's Baramulla district on Friday was brown sugar.
Kashmir divisional commissioner Shaliendra Kumar on Thursday said, "The report came to us today and has confirmed that the consignment was brown sugar."
A trucker, Mohammed Shafiz Awan, from Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) was caught with 117 packets of brown sugar on Friday. The truck was part of a PoK convoy that had come to deliver goods at the Salamabad trade centre in Baramulla. Officials have pegged the worth of the drug in the international market at Rs 100 crore.
The driver has claimed ignorance about the contents of the consignment and blamed the consignor, while Pakistan has sought diplomatic immunity for him. The recovery has led to a stand-off between the two countries which entered the seventh day on Thursday. Pakistan has detained 27 Indian truckers at Chakoti in PoK, and demanded the release of its trucker caught for drug-smuggling.
Because of this, 48 drivers and their trucks from PoK have been stuck at Salamabad trade facilitation centre on the Indian side, as Pakistan closed the LoC crossing. It has not allowed even the much-hyped LoC bus service to resume.
On Saturday, Islamabad demanded that India hand over the drugs so that it could take action against the consignor. "Though initial analysis by a mobile forensics lab had suggested that the seized consignment was narcotics, we were waiting for a detailed analysis before proceeding in the case," said Rafiq-Ul Hassan, senior superintendent of police (SSP, security) of Kashmir province.
Hassan, whose team was behind the drug bust, expressed concern over trafficking of drugs, saying: "Had the consignment gone undetected, it would have ultimately reached our homes," he said. The standoff continues even after New Delhi summoned deputy high commissioner Mansoor Ahmed Khan and expressed regret that cross-border trade and travel had been stopped to retaliate against India's legitimate action against drug smuggling.