Pakistan Refuses To Attend Flag Meet; LoC Trade Halted

Pakistan Refuses To Attend Flag Meet; LoC Trade Halted

16 June 2012
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria

Jammu: In a setback to efforts for maintaining peace along the Line of Control, the Pakistani Army today refused to attend a crucial flag meeting with its Indian counterpart at Chakan-da-Bagh in Poonch district. The trans-LoC trade remains suspended for the past two days – first time since it was started four years ago. Jammu-based traders say they have already suffered a loss of about Rs 1 crore. Three days ago, Pakistani soldiers targeted forward Indian posts in the KG Sector. Lance Naik Harvinder Singh was killed and three other Indian soldiers were injured. In the same area, the Pakistani troops had shot dead a BSF jawan, PK Mishra, of the 94 Battalion. “A flag meeting was scheduled between Army officers of the two sides at 11 am today at Chakan-da-Bagh trade point. We had to take up the ceasefire violations and cross-LoC firing by the other side in Poonch’s KG Sector,” said an Army source. “Pakistani Army officers sent us a message expressing their inability to attend the meeting. They said they would inform us in due course of time,” said the source. The Pakistani side neither assigned any reason for the abrupt cancellation nor did they give any fresh dates, said the source. The recalcitrant attitude of the Pakistani authorities has abruptly halted the cross-LoC trade via Chakan-da-Bagh. Cross-LoC Traders’ Poonch Association chief Pawan Anand said on June 14-15, the Jammu-based traders had dispatched 22 trucks carrying bananas, chilli and tamarind, but the Pakistani authorities did not open the gates. “The trucks returned, causing a loss of Rs 1 crore,” he said. “Ceasefire violations are common, but these had no impact on trade,” said Anand. This is the first time the trade route has been shut down. what Happened The flag meeting was scheduled between Army officers of both sides at Chakan-da-Bagh trade point to take up ceasefire violations and cross-LoC firing in Poonch’s KG Sector Trans-LoC trade suspended for the past two days, the first time since it was started four years ago, after ceasefire violations Jammu-based traders say they have already suffered a loss of about Rs 1 crore