Pak-India border trade in Kashmir resumes after month-long suspension

By AFP
Published: February 12, 2014
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"Trade will resume as routine now. However one Pakistani truck along with the driver are still held by the Indian authorities," said Basharat Iqbal, an official of the Trade and Travel Authority in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. PHOTO:INP/FILE

"Trade will resume as routine now. However one Pakistani truck along with the driver are still held by the Indian authorities," said Basharat Iqbal, an official of the Trade and Travel Authority in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. PHOTO:INP/FILE

MUZAFFARABAD: Trade across the Line of Control (LoC) in disputed Kashmir resumed on Wednesday after being suspended for nearly a month, a Pakistani official said.

All movement including travel and trade across the Line of Control, which divides the Himalayan region between Pakistan and India, was suspended after Indian authorities detained a Pakistani truck driver for allegedly carrying 114 kilograms (250 pounds) of heroin.

On Wednesday 27 trucks were allowed to leave for the Indian side and 49 others cleared to come the other way, said Basharat Iqbal, an official of the Trade and Travel Authority in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

“Trade will resume as routine now. However one Pakistani truck along with the driver are still held by the Indian authorities,” he told AFP.

Indian news agency Press Trust of India reported later in the evening that the first of the trucks had successfully crossed over into India from the Pakistan side.

Muhammad Ismail, head of the Trade and Travel Authority, said the decision to resume border trade was taken at foreign ministerial level.

Trade across the de facto border began in 2008 as part of peace efforts between the nuclear-armed neighbours, but it is frequently disrupted by disputes.

It was last suspended in September 2013 for almost six weeks over a disagreement about the origin of goods being traded.

Kashmir, divided between India and Pakistan upon independence from Britain in 1947, has been a continual thorn in relations and the countries have fought two wars over the territory.

More than a dozen armed rebel groups have been fighting Indian forces since 1989 for the region’s independence or its merger with Pakistan.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • shailesh karanjkar
    Feb 12, 2014 - 9:45PM

    what is the need to remind “Nuclear Arm Neighbor” ??? Here, we do not even know who is our army, air force, naval chief as we are more concern about good governance than these issues. When Pakistan, its media and people understand this, that will be true development of Pakistan.

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  • someone
    Feb 12, 2014 - 10:07PM

    This is just so stupid of Pakistani authorities. Why on the first hand they stopped the truckers from both sides to cross the border? That caused the inconvenience to poor truckers of both sides. 27 from India and 49 from PoK. The poor truckers had to spend out of their pockets for all these days. And what happened finally? The culprit trucker is still held by Indian authorities. All these time Indian authorities were willing to let other truckers go while keeping the one smuggler under arrest but stupid Pakistani authorities made it a matter of pride. Utter foolishness.Recommend

  • Desi Samachar
    Feb 12, 2014 - 11:51PM

    Sensitivity is always all time high and sensibility is always all time low in India-Pakistan relationship. Until we achieve exactly the opposite, such flare ups and inconvenience bear by common men will continue.
    For sake of millions of people in India and Pakistan who wants peace, leaders on both side of border have to overcome the bitter weight of partition and animosity which we are still carrying. Its way past “Time to move on”. But never too late …. cheers :)

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  • Vikram
    Feb 13, 2014 - 12:02AM

    Author: “one smuggler under arrest but stupid Pakistani authorities made it a matter of pride”

    It has nothing to do with pride. Some big shots in Pakistan are involved in this drug smuggling and they are trying to make sure no one finds about them.

    PIA staff and many pessengers have been caught with drugs many times before. Just search PIA and drugs on the Internet.

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  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Feb 13, 2014 - 9:13PM

    A good initiative but both sides have to be careful that there are several forces who may attempt to sabotage this weak link . PAKISTAN has to remain very careful because she is still openly interfering in internal affairs of India and boosting the moral of infilteraters by celebrating Kashmir solidarity day on the streets .

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