Kashmir Chamber Pins Hopes On Pak Journalists Visit
6 October 2004
The Times of India
Srinagar: Captains of trade and commerce in Kashmir are pinning hopes on Pakistani journalists visit here as they are looking for new vistas beyond Muzaffarabad to expand and boost the business sector. Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) is expecting that the visit of Pakistani journalists will help in reopening of the Srinagar- Muzaffarabad road and the business community will get an opportunity to export goods to different countries from Karachi. KCCI President Rauf Ahmad Punjabi said the reopening of road will only help the business community when they are being allowed to carry the goods right up to Karachi where from these can be exported to different destinations. 'The Pakistani journalists can help us in this regard. If they campaign for the road reopening it will also help us. But it should not be limited to Muzaffarabad only. We should be given access to markets so that we can boost trade', he said. Punjabi added that any ceiling on the movement will not help the business community because it will serve no purpose. 'We hope the journalists will help in building public opinion and that can augur will for the business community', he said. Welcoming the delegation, he said that they felt that there should be free movement of people from both the sides. 'This will not only help us but the people in general. And the building of bridges will help us to over come mistrust and build confidence', he said. A delegation of KCCI is meeting the Pakistani journalists on October 7 and there is every likelihood that they will put some suggestions that can help in easing of tensions. KCCI president has called an executive committee meeting on October 6 to discuss the modalities and work out strategy for the meeting. Punjabi said that they will discuss all issues in the executive council and list the suggestion which will be put forth before the journalists who are highly respected. 'We will discuss everything in the meeting. I will consult my colleagues and discuss with them and accordingly we will draw a plan for the meeting', he said.