Trans-LoC Traders Seek Shinde’s Intervention

Trans-LoC Traders Seek Shinde’s Intervention

3 August 2013
The Tribune (Chandigarh)


Jammu: At least 165 trans-LoC traders, who do trade via Chakan da Bagh Trade Centre in Poonch district, have sought the intervention of Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde to bring an end to their miseries. A day after The Tribune reported alleged autocratic attitude of some of the Forest Department officials, who have started seizing the consignments of herbs, the cross-Line of Control (LoC) traders today came out in the open, demanding that justice be done to them. Addressing mediapersons here today, Sheeraz Ahmed Khan, spokesperson for the Chamber of the LoC Trade, J&K, said despite being in the list of 21 trade items, the Forest Department all of a sudden started seizing their consignments of herbs. “It has never happened ever since the trade started between the two divided Kashmirs on October 21, 2008. It is not happening at Salamabad Cross-LoC Trade Centre in Kashmir,” said Khan. The Forest Department has started seizing consignments of herbs on a flimsy ground that the trader must get naqsha number 25 (rabdari) from the department. 'Where they (Forest Department officials) sleeping since 2008?' he asked. Khan also requested the Union Home Minister to immediately cancel the visit of the 47-member delegation of the LoC traders from the state to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) to discuss trade-related problems with their PoK counterparts on August 26. “Only a few trans-LoC traders have been included in the delegation. We want that a fresh delegation having 11 trans-LoC traders each from Kashmir and Jammu be included because those who are actually doing trade with PoK know the problems and want solutions,” said Khan. Besides 165 trans-LoC traders from Poonch in the Jammu region, over 600 traders are associated with the LoC trade via Salamabad in Kashmir. Khan also seized the opportunity to reiterate a long-pending demand of traders in Chakan da Bagh and Salamabad to install full-truck scanners at the two trade centres. Khan also appealed to the Home Minister to bring the LoC trade via Chakan da Bagh on a par with the Salamabad trade centre that exports over 50 trucks of merchandise to PoK during the four days of trading every week, in sharp contrast to 25 trucks a day from Chakan da Bagh. Following The Tribune report in May last year, the then Union Home Secretary, RK Singh, had ordered 50 trucks every day to PoK from Chakan da Bagh as well, but the practice didn’t last long and things were back to square one again. He also urged that 21 items on the export list under the standard operating procedure be resumed via Chakan da Bagh on the lines of Salamabad. The traders have submitted detailed memorandums to the Union Home Minister, Prime Minister’s Office, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and Minister of State for Industries Sajjad Ahmed Kichloo.