3 Weeks On, LoC Trade Remains Stalled

3 Weeks On, LoC Trade Remains Stalled

6 February 2014
Kashmir Watch


Srinagar: The cross LoC trade remained suspended as India and Pakistan fail to make any headway in this regard. The trade was suspended after authorities in Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) detained drivers from this side and refused to allow the drivers from that side to return following arrest of a driver from Pak on charges of carrying drugs. “The next meeting will be held on February 10 to break the deadlock,” the official added. Meanwhile, Leaders of Traders Union, Salamaabd Baramulla, Thursday visited the drivers of Pakistan administered Kashmir who are held-up near LoC Uri since past 3 weeks. Reports reaching GNS said that Traders Union, President Tariq Ahmad Khan along with Gen Secretary Hilal Turkey visited the location to know the grievances of the drivers. As a goodwill gesture, the union leaders distributed some essential items among them which include track suits, underwear’s and socks. General Secretary Hilal Turkey while talking to the PaK drivers and assured them that the matter has been already taken up with the higher authorities and the matter will be solved very soon. Hilal Turkey appealed the Government on behalf of his entire union that they should come up the solution so that the drivers have not to suffer any more. Pertinently, Indo-Pak officials have held four meetings in the past to resolve the crisis caused by the arrest of the Pakistani driver. The first and second meetings on January 18, and January 27, remained inconclusive, while the meeting on January 30 was partially successful as both the sides announced to resume travel ties. The fourth round of talks over the resumption of the trade ties remained inconclusive with Pakistan officials reiterating their demand for the release of their detained driver. However, trade across the Line of Control (LoC) remained suspended. The commerce was suspended on January 17 after the arrest of the driver and seizure of the vehicle by India. Pakistani authorities later detained 27 driversand their vehicles from India who had gone to Chakote near Muzaffarabad with trade goods. Pakistan also refused entry to 48 of its own trucks, demanding the Indian authorities to release the arrested driver and allow the return of all 49 trucks that had come to the Salamabad trade centre in Baramulla district Jan 17.