Cross-LoC trade resumes fourteen days after suspension

According to the Travel and Trade Authority (Tata), 28 trucks crossed the LoC from Chakothi sector


M A Mir February 17, 2015
The cross-LoC truck service was suspended after the alleged recovery of narcotics in a truck from AJK in Indian-administered Kashmir on February 3. PHOTO: AFP

MUZAFFARABAD: Almost a fortnight after it was suspended, trade between Muzaffarabad and Srinagar resumed peacefully on Tuesday.

According to the Travel and Trade Authority (Tata), 28 trucks crossed the Line of Control (LoC) from Chakothi sector.

“Twenty five trucks from Indian-administered Kashmir reached AJK, while three loaded trucks of goods from Azad Kashmir crossed the LoC towards Srinagar,” Tata officials said.

The cross-LoC truck service was suspended after the alleged recovery of narcotics in a truck from Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) in Indian-administered Kashmir on February 3. Indian authorities arrested the driver, Syed Inayat Hussain Shah  and seized his truck and refused to send him back to Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

The traders, truck drivers and family members of the arrested driver were on strike since Friday in Ghari Dupatta, about 25 kilometres from Muzaffarabad, demanding the release of the driver from Indian-administered Kashmir, and had threatened to stop the cross-LoC movement of buses and trucks.

The strike ended on Sunday after Tata authorities assured they would secure the release of Shah from the respective authorities within weeks.

Meanwhile, President Intra-Kashmir Trade Union Khurshid Ahmad Mir hailed the resumption of the truck service between Muzaffarabad and Srinagar, and urged both administrations of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Indian administered Kashmir to install a full-body scanner at Chakothi and Uri trade crossing points -- aimed at ensuring a smuggling-free trade across the LoC.

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