Traders Fail To Resume Trans-LoC Trade Via Salamabad

Traders Fail To Resume Trans-LoC Trade Via Salamabad

10 September 2013
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Ishfaq Tantry

Srinagar: The cross-LoC trade through the Salamabad-Chakoti axis failed to resume today due to objections raised by the trade authorities of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). The traders on this side were ready with their trucks at the trade centre. The Director General of the Cross-LoC trade in PoK has sought a “meeting” with his counterparts at the “Zero Line to sort out the issues” before resuming the trade, which has remained suspended since September 3. Following assurances by the authorities in J&K, the Salamabad-Chakoti Traders Union, during its meeting yesterday, had decided to resume the cross-LoC trade from today. “The trade could not resume today as the PoK trade authorities have raised some objections,” Ehsan-ul-Haque, custodian of the cross-LoC trade via the Salamabad-Chakoti axis, told The Tribune. Haque said the PoK authorities were seeking written assurances that goods trucks from their side won’t be returned by the Customs authorities once they land at the Salamabad Trade Facilitation Centre. The cross-LoC trade on the Salamabad-Chakoti axis is conducted four days a week from Tuesday to Friday. The decision to resume the trade from Tuesday was taken by the Salamabad-Chakoti Traders Union after “the authorities promised it that its demands would be looked into”. On August 31, the traders had threatened to suspend the trans-LoC trade for an indefinite period. Subsequently, business was suspended by them on September 3 over the Customs Department order banning the import and export of a few items, including mangoes and dates, from PoK. Saying that they are ready to resume trade, president of the Salamabad-Chakoti Traders Union Tariq Khan said the traders from this side had today lined up their trucks at the Salamabad-Trade Facilitation Centre, with a hope that trade would resume today. “Many traders on this side had taken up their trucks loaded with goods to the Salamabad Trade Facilitation Centre, however, the custodian refused to take the trucks to the Kaman Post at the LoC, informing that the PoK authorities are not willing to resume trade,” Khan said. He added that the authorities should “pay immediate attention” to the “concerns” raised by the traders and should sort out the issues with their PoK counterparts at the earliest, adding that it is the traders who are “bearing the brunt” of losses suffered due to the suspension of trade. Custodian Ehsan-ul-Haque said he had informed his higher-ups, including the Deputy Commissioner, Baramulla, about the objections raised by the PoK authorities and their refusal to resume the trade today. “Now it is up to the higher-ups to arrange a meeting and sort out the issues raised by the traders and the PoK authorities,” he said. Trade Talk The traders suspended the cross-LoC business through the Salamabad-Chakoti axis on September 3. They have been demanding revocation of the Customs Department order, banning import and export of mango Following ‘assurances’ from the authorities in J&K, the traders had on Monday decided to resume business from Tuesday PoK authorities refuse to resume the trade. Seek a meeting on the Zero Line and written assurances against Customs order