Srinagar-Muzaffarabad cross-LoC trade resumes

Srinagar : Trade across the Line of Control between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad resumed Wednesday after over a month as trucks loaded with goods from both sides crossed the Aman Setu in Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.

“A total of 22 trucks from our side went to the Chakote trade facilitation centre near Muzaffarabad (in Pakistan-administered Kashmir) while four trucks came to the Salamabad centre near Uri town in Baramulla,” a trade official of the state government told IANS.

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Trade across the Line of Control (LoC) between the two parts of divided Kashmir was halted by Pakistan Jan 17 when customs and police officials in Baramulla recovered 114 packets of brown sugar valued at over Rs.100 crore from a Pakistani truck, in which the narcotics were hidden.

The truck driver was arrested and his vehicle seized.

The same day, Pakistan detained 27 Indian drivers and their trucks which had gone across the LoC with trade goods.

Pakistan also disallowed the return of their 48 trucks that had come to India Jan 17.

Pakistani officials demanded the return of the arrested driver and his vehicle as a pre-condition for the resumption of the cross-LoC trade.

The deadlock was resolved at the high commission level and after more than a month, trade resumed Wednesday.

Cross-LoC trade between Poonch and Rawlakote in Pakistan-administered Kashmir resumed earlier this month following talks between diplomats of the two countries.

As per the existing arrangement, cross-LoC trade takes place four days a week between the two parts of Kashmir through the Kaman Post on the LoC and the Chakan Da Bagh crossing point.

Meanwhile, the arrested Pakistani driver has been lodged in the Srinagar Central Jail following court orders.