India, Pakistan suspend trade on Kashmir border: officials

By AFP
Published: February 8, 2015
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Pakistani Kashmiri men walk past the truck supply check point to India at the Line of Control (LoC) in Chakothi on September 18, 2013. PHOTO: AFP

Pakistani Kashmiri men walk past the truck supply check point to India at the Line of Control (LoC) in Chakothi on September 18, 2013. PHOTO: AFP

Pakistani Kashmiri men walk past the truck supply check point to India at the Line of Control (LoC) in Chakothi on September 18, 2013. PHOTO: AFP A file photo of Line of Control between Pakistan and India. PHOTO: REUTERS

MUZAFFRABAD: India and Pakistan have suspended trade across their de facto border in the disputed territory of Kashmir after Indian authorities detained a truck driver accused of drug trafficking, Pakistani officials said on Sunday.

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the two countries won independence from Britain in 1947. Both claim the scenic Himalayan territory in full.

Barter trade across the de facto border began in 2008 as part of peace efforts but it is frequently disrupted over disputes.

“We were informed by the Indian authorities on Friday evening that they have stopped 22 Pakistani trucks which crossed the Line of Control (LOC) earlier that day,” Basharat Iqbal, trade facilitation officer on the Pakistani side of the border, told AFP.

“They told us that they had discovered 12 kilogrammes of opium from a truck carrying oranges and were taking an action against the driver. After the incident, we also held 50 Indian trucks in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), because traffic crosses the border simultaneously,” said Iqbal.

Imtiaz Wayen, director-general of AJK’s trade and travel authority, said India was not entitled to stop Pakistani drivers on grounds of smuggling.

“According to our agreement, if they find any banned item in our trucks they are bound to hand over that item and the relevant truck driver to us for further action,” he said.

“We have informed the officials of the ministry of foreign affairs about this matter and have asked them to take up this issue,” he added.

In addition to barter trade, families separated by the de facto border may apply for special passes to visit their relatives on buses that operate two days a week.

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Reader Comments (25)

  • Feb 8, 2015 - 6:23PM

    Every good effort to normalize and bring peace is so badly abused. How do we go ahead and bring happiness to honest and peace loving people of both the countries.Recommend

  • Indian
    Feb 8, 2015 - 7:18PM

    This is the best India could have hoped for.Recommend

  • Blithe
    Feb 8, 2015 - 7:19PM

    Wish moodi was half the statesman Nawaz sharif is – you don’t stop trade on a one-off incident .

    Moodi is digging his own grave in the long run Recommend

  • John B
    Feb 8, 2015 - 8:25PM

    What if the house cat is eating all the fish in the fish bowl when you are out ?

    This LoC agreement is not workable. Anyone with common sense can see this.

    If you get caught by committing a crime, you are punished by the sheriff of that county. In a sincere agreement, the PoK police should rush to the india side, grab that criminal rascal and throw him a deep hole on PoK for disrupting the trade( and lives of millions). instead, the PoK side is arguing that if you stop one I will stop ten, I can send as many criminals I want under my watch, and if one slips through then it is your fault. Recommend

  • Sam@ABE
    Feb 8, 2015 - 10:34PM

    Good catch … this seizure was great for both countries except for the drug dealers. For all you know the poor driver and his companions may be innocent. At least India wont behead them. Burn the opium at the border to deter drug dealers. Just like there is no such thing as good or bad terrorist , there is no such thing as good or bad drugs.Recommend

  • Joe
    Feb 8, 2015 - 10:52PM

    @Blithe:
    Yeah Yeah … Good luckRecommend

  • rkfromny
    Feb 8, 2015 - 11:06PM

    Wish your Sharif was half the leader Modi is.. and ensures no drugs are passed through your border into India.. !!@Blithe: Recommend

  • Alann
    Feb 8, 2015 - 11:35PM

    This looks like a ‘fake’ news..
    This same exact news was on ET like 6-8 months ago too, where a Pakistani truck driver was held by Indian authorities for drug trafficking and then Pakistan held 50 drivers from India until the release of their “alleged” drug trafficker by India.Recommend

  • KashmirMuslim
    Feb 9, 2015 - 12:13AM

    Terrorist and now smugglerz..send across the borderRecommend

  • AVMPolpot
    Feb 9, 2015 - 12:59AM

    @Blithe: ” Wish Modi was half the statesman Nawaz sharif is – you don’t stop trade on a one-off incident .”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++==
    Half of zero is zero. Be Careful with ur wishes.Recommend

  • ajeet
    Feb 9, 2015 - 2:20AM

    India should follow Saudis in dealing with Pakistani smugglers.Recommend

  • woody
    Feb 9, 2015 - 3:01AM

    You know what the Saudis would do to a drug smuggling truck driver.Recommend

  • Sam@ABE
    Feb 9, 2015 - 4:17AM

    @Alann – “This looks like a ‘fake’ news”

    We keep reading about bomb blasts in mosques of a certain community in Pakistan every year. Do you mean to tell us that that’s ‘fake’ news and its all staged by that community?Recommend

  • Gp65
    Feb 9, 2015 - 5:07AM

    @Blithe:

    Ummm, it is Pakistan that stopped the trade and also responded disproportionatelyRecommend

  • Bharat R
    Feb 9, 2015 - 6:25AM

    Trading with Pakistan is just simply too much of a problem and carries with it the risk of a whole host of unwelcome exports like narcotics in the instant case being mixed in with legitimate exports. These unwelcome exports from Pakistan into India besides narcotics, include arms and ammunition, counterfeit Indian currency notes, funding of terrorists under the garb of trade payments and potential for the export of the polio virus not to mention terrorists via the human contact required for trade. It also carries with it threats to the liberty of Indian citizens owing to maliciously capricious behaviour of Pakistani authorities such as that seen in present case where 50 Indian Trucks and their personnel have been detained. This maliciously capricious behaviour is not an isolated incident. Back in January 2014 arrest by India of a Pakistani truck driver whose truck was also found to be carrying narcotics resulted in some 27 plus innocent Indian’s being detained for some three weeks.

    Government of India should revoke Pakistan’s MFN status and stop trading with Pakistan forthwith.Recommend

  • Ashwin
    Feb 9, 2015 - 6:39AM

    It is difficult to interact with a nation that does not behave responsibly. In the end, it would be in India’s interests to pretend that Pakistan does not exist.Recommend

  • John B
    Feb 9, 2015 - 7:28AM

    @Bharat R:
    All the points you have listed are valid(smuggling, arms, counterfeit, disease, narcotics, terrorism) from Pok side to India, but in an universal point of view, it is also applicable from india kashmir to the PoK side also.

    So, a better system that is indifferent to the trust (a plain old frame work with enforcement) must be devised based on the events evolved. The idea of cross border trade is as plain as old interstate commerce, with well established precedence.

    It is the obfuscation of PAK establishment that is causing the problem, a pure irrational ghariat. In the mean time, traders have to put up with it. The cross border smuggling will only increase and it can only be combated through quick and just response and not arbitrary pride and honor nonsense. Some one is facilitating the smuggling of narcotics on both side (seller and buyer). The smuggling operation is always caught at the import side, as is the case here and all over the world. Recommend

  • Asok
    Feb 9, 2015 - 7:39AM

    Trade cannot be used as an excuse for smuggling drugs and arms. Unfortunately, history shows that waiting for Pakistan to take action of prosecute criminals acting against India is a fools game.Recommend

  • raw is war
    Feb 9, 2015 - 8:19AM

    India is not Saudi Arabia. Be thankfulRecommend

  • islooboy
    Feb 9, 2015 - 8:35AM

    @rkfromny:
    does indian alcohol count as drugs?Recommend

  • Sid
    Feb 9, 2015 - 8:56AM

    This is an old news. Looks like ET published it by mistake.Recommend

  • AVMPolpot
    Feb 9, 2015 - 9:29AM

    ” AJK Travel and Trade Authority (TATA) director general Brigadier retired Imtiaz Wyne told Dawn.

    He said the authorities from the two sides would meet on Monday at Kaman Bridge and “I am sure there will be a breakthrough.”

    He replied in the negative when asked if there was any provision in the SOP that in the event of recovery of a contraband item, all the evidence, including the vehicle, driver and the consignment, would be returned to the place of origin for legal proceedings.”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Source: Dawn.Recommend

  • AVMPolpot
    Feb 9, 2015 - 9:48AM

    “According to sources in the intra-Kashmir trade, the truck alleged to be carrying the contraband is owned by a person in Abbasiyan and he and men have stopped the 49 vehicles. He says he will let them move only after truck and driver return from the IHK.

    “These 49 trucks are laden with bananas worth around Rs30 million. And if they do not reach the market by tomorrow (Monday) morning the fruit will rot and traders will suffer a huge loss,” Ajaz Ahmed Meer, information secretary of the Jammu Kashmir Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry said.
    “+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Sad to note that an individual can hold 49 trucks carrying perishable material and Indo PAK trade hostage. Recommend

  • kksr
    Feb 9, 2015 - 10:06AM

    In both trade and relationship with Pakistan, the shady characters in Pakistan spoil the show. Recommend

  • Aschraful Makhlooq
    Feb 9, 2015 - 12:27PM

    Unless Kashmir issue is resolved there has to be no any trade and business with India……Recommend

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