Jammu: Cross-border trade and bus service between India and Pakistan will resume in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch sector on Monday, after more than a fortnight-long suspension following escalation of tension at the line of control (LoC) over the brutal killing of two Indian soldiers by Pakistani troops.
“Cross-LoC bus service and trade would resume from 28 January along Chakan-da-Bagh crossing point in Poonch district,” Jammu and Kashmir minister of state for industries and commerce Sajjad Kitchloo said. Pakistani authorities had conveyed on Saturday to the Indian side their willingness to resume trade and bus service along the borderline in Poonch, he said.
Kitchloo expressed the hope that trade across the LoC would increase. Cross-LoC trade and travel, described as key confidence building measures, were suspended after escalation of tension between the two countries along LoC after two Indian soldiers were killed by Pakistani troops on 8 January.
One of the soldiers Hemraj was beheaded by Pakistani army regulars. Pakistan army had on 11 January refused to open the gates for allowing cross-LoC trade at Chakan-Da-Bagh crossing point in Poonch district resulting in stranding of 25 J&K trucks carrying goods mostly vegetables for traders in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK).
Chakan-Da-Bagh crossing point was started in 2006 to facilitate easier trade and travel between divided families of Jammu and Kashmir and PoK. Cross-LoC trade and travel are considered as major confidence building exercises between India and Pakistan. PTI