Cross-LoC trade may break ice on Kashmir issue

29 September 2008
The News International
Sayed Abid Hussain Shah

Islamabad: Jammu & Kashmir Liberation League has said the opening of Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalakot roads for trade would mark the revival of Kashmirs pre-partition era business connectivity with the rest of the world besides leading to resolution of all long-standing unresolved issues including the core issue of Kashmir between India and Pakistan. Talking to this correspondent here, JKLL President and ex-chief justice of AJK High Court Justice (Retd) Abdul Majeed Mallick said that the revival of trade across the LoC was a good omen but it could not be described as an ultimate resolution of Kashmir dispute. However, it could be described as one of the attractive CBMs reached so far between India and Pakistan for the settlement of all long-standing differences including Kashmir through peaceful means, he added. The JKLL President said the beginning of the trade through traditional cross-LoC routes would encourage efforts for resolving Kashmir conflict. He said it is now only a matter of time when all the regions of the state including AJK and Indian held Kashmir will have free access across the LoC. This will restore the people of Jammu & Kashmir, the right to travel freely in the region, that they had prior to partition, he hoped and added that the meeting points along the LoC must also be now converted into crossing points. He said the time has come to allow the civil society dwelling either side of the Loc in the state to assert itself as a matter of right and not a concession. He said it must strive towards political stability and fulfilling expectations of the people of the state through grant of their legitimate right to self-determination.