Cross-LoC bus, truck service suspended

This was the second time India had spread ‘malicious propaganda’ against traders from AJK, said Brig (retd) Ismail.

Our Correspondent January 19, 2014
Indian goods trucks parked outside the office of Tata in Chokothi sector, AJK along the Line of Control. PHOTO: AFP

MUZAFFARABAD: The Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Travel and Trade Authority (Tata) on Sunday announced it would suspend the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad Bus and Truck Service until India releases the 49 trucks and drivers from AJK that it detained the previous day.

The drivers and their trucks were detained on Friday evening after authorities in Indian-administered Kashmir accused one of them of smuggling drugs into the region.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Tata Director General (DG) Brig (retd) Muhammad Ismail said this was the second time India had spread ‘malicious propaganda’ against traders from AJK. He called for introducing a joint mechanism to avoid the suspension of cross-LoC trade.

“In the future, if authorities on either side of the ceasefire line recover any prohibited items from trucks moving across the LoC, it must be brought into the notice of the other side immediately,” he said.

“Making such claims without any proof or proper investigation will only benefit those who want to close the bus service and cross-LoC trade for good.” Brig Ismail said the manner in which Indian authorities recovered drugs from one of the trucks created doubts about the incident. “The presence of the Indian media and Anti-Narcotics Force when the recovery was made creates the impression that it was a drama planned to coincide with Commerce Minister Khurram Dastagir Khan’s talks with his counterpart in New Delhi.”

In response to a query as to why India would make ‘false claims’, the TATA DG said some elements in the Indian military did not want enhanced trade ties with Pakistan.

He said 90% of the cross-LoC traders belonged to families divided by the ceasefire line. He said these families relied on cross-LoC trade for their livelihood, a fact he added ‘irritates’ New Delhi.

“India wants to economically crush any pro-Pakistan elements in Indian-administered Kashmir.”

On Saturday, a Tata team met with their counterparts from India to negotiate the release of 76 trucks detained on both sides of the LoC. The talks, however, remained inconclusive.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 20th, 2014. 


polpot | 7 years ago | Reply

The article fails to clearly state that Pakistan has detained 27 Indian Trucks in retaliation +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ India must impose the most stringent action against the culprits.

Zarb e Hanood | 7 years ago | Reply Zarb e Hanood Not surprised at the news of an attempt to smuggle narcotics from Pakistan into India. Just today Indian newspaper, Times of india, carried an article of yet another attempt to smuggle heroin from Pakistan into India that was foiled. This is the third seizure of narcotics in 19 days time on India-Pak border in Punjab. Article implicates Pakistani “Agencies” in the drug smuggling efforts. Likely Involvement of these very same Pakistani “Agencies” could explain the absurd reaction reported by ET of Pakistani authorities of seizing Indian trucks after India detained the Pakistani truck and driver in which narcotics was discovered:
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