PaK Agrees To Release 50 Kashmiri Drivers

11 February 2015
Greater Kashmir
Mukeet Akmali

Srinagar: In what suggests an imminent break in the deadlock on intra-Kashmir trade, PaK officials have agreed to allow the detained 50 drivers from Kashmir to return home. Deputy Commissioner, Talat Pervaiz told Greater Kashmir that the PaK officials conveyed this decision to him on Wednesday. Earlier, PaK authorities had refused to allow 50 truckers from this side, who had crossed the Kaman Post to deliver consignments, to return home, after one of their truckers was arrested at TFC Salamabad by the JK Police on charge of carrying narcotic substance. The PaK officials were demanding return of all 22 PaK-based drivers including the arrested driver. The issue snowballed into a controversy resulting in suspension of trade activities. The DC Baramulla said: 'The DG Trade of PaK today contacted and informed me about their decision to allow 50 truckers to return to this side. The official further said that he would get back to me after a written order from his higher ups is issued in this regard.' 'But till 6:15 PM there was no call from that side though I have again conveyed message to them. I think today it is unlikely that the drivers will return but we are highly hopeful that from tomorrow the trade can resume,' Pervaiz said. 'I have already instructed the officials to keep 21 PaK-based drivers ready so that they could return to their respective places,' Pervaiz said and added: 'We are waiting for the final nod from the other side.' He said the PaK officials during their meeting with him assured him about taking every precautionary measure to prevent such incidents in future. To mention, on Monday after recovery of narcotic substance from the Pak-based truck the DC Baramulla had met his counterparts from the other side who had assured him to get back to him on Tuesday. However, there was no response from them. With the continued deadlock over the trade, the traders had urged the state government to allow them conduct trade via Poonch route. However, the PaK authorities had rejected the proposal of J&K government in this regard. The state government had urged the PaK authorities to allow the Salamabad traders to conduct their trade via Poonch route as the trade on Salamabad-Chakoti route has remained suspended for last five days.