Trade Across LoC Suspended

7 February 2015
The Hindu
Zahid Rafiq

Srinagar: Trade across the Line of Control in Kashmir was suspended on Saturday after the Jammu & Kashmir police arrested a truck driver from Pakistan for allegedly smuggling in 305 packets of narcotics at Uri in northern Kashmir. According to the police, the narcotics were hidden inside a fruit truck that crossed the LoC from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. 'We have detained a Pakistani driver, Syed Anayat Hussain, who is a resident of Muzaffarabad, after we recovered 305 packets of narcotics from his truck,' Deputy Inspector General of Police Gareeb Das said. 'The packets, each weighing 10-15 gm, were very carefully concealed in orange cartons in the truck.' The police have also arrested three locals to whom the consignment was addressed. Trade across the LoC started in 2008 as a confidence building measure between the two countries, but has since been suspended several times over various issues, including previous allegations of narcotic smuggling. With the trade suspended, 22 drivers from PoK, including the arrested one, are stuck on the Indian side, while 50 Kashmiri drivers from the Indian side are stuck on the Pakistani side. Meanwhile, the traders themselves are a worried lot as they have trucks laden with perishable items and they would incur huge losses if trade remains suspended. Trade was earlier suspended in 2014 from January 17 to February 12 after the J&K police arrested a driver from PoK for smuggling in over 100 kg of brown sugar.