Hold demonstration against trade ban move.
SRINAGAR: Scores of traders associated with the cross-LoC trade on Monday held a protest demonstration here to demand resumption of the trade between Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir.
The traders affiliated with ‘Salamabad Cross-LoC Traders’ Union’ gathered at Srinagar’s Pratap Park to protest against the Indian government’s recent decision of banning the truck service between two parts of the state.
The Union home ministry had on April 18 announced to suspend cross-LoC trade saying the government has received reports that the trade routes are being “misused by some Pakistan based elements.”
A statement issued by ministry had said that the LoC trade through both Uri-Chakothi and Chakan-da-Bagh-Rawlakote corridors has been suspended pending “putting into place of a stricter regulatory regime”. The ministry order also said that the move “is to ensure that only bonafide trade takes place for the benefit of the people of Jammu and Kashmir through this mechanism”.
The duty-free barter trade across the LoC from two points- Uri and Muzaffarabad and Poonch and Rawlakote was initiated as a confidence building measure in October 2008. But it has been marred in many controversies and was on many times hit also by active hostilities breaking out between the armies of India and Pakistan along the 747-km long de facto border. Various political parties and traders’ bodies in Jammu and Kashmir have criticized the government over the sudden suspension of the trade. On the other hand, Pakistan on Sunday condemned India’s “unilateral decision.”