Home > politics > policy > India condemns shutdown of trans LoC trade in Kashmir

New Delhi: India on Tuesday regretted that trans-border trade in Kashmir, which stalled after the arrest of Pakistani driver of a truck smuggling narcotics across the Line of Control (LoC), has not resumed even after two weeks of the incident.

“We regret the fact that for the sake of a drug trafficker caught red-handed smuggling narcotics into India, the Pakistani authorities have continued to refuse to allow the resumption of trans-Line of Control travel and trade that brings great benefits to the people of the state of Jammu and Kashmir," foreign ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said.

Pakistan halted the movement of trucks and buses across the border in Kashmir following the arrest of a Pakistani truck driver two weeks ago with narcotics worth 100 crore hidden in a truck coming from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

The police impounded the truck, containing as many as 114 packets of heroin, and detained the driver, causing Pakistan to retaliate with the detention of 27 trucks carrying goods from India, the report said.

Pakistan also indicated that it would not allow the Srinagar-Muzzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalakote bus services to run till the impounded truck and arrested driver were released.

“Over the last two weeks India has repeatedly emphasized to Pakistan to allow the full resumption of travel and trade across the LoC and to hold an immediate meeting of the trade facilitation officers so that both sides can exchange information with regard to the narcotic seizures that have been made," Akbaruddin said.

India has proposed to Pakistan to hold a meeting of officials in the second week of February.

The cross-border trade and bus travel connecting the two regions of Kashmir, which have a number of divided families between them, began in April 2005-06 and October 2008, respectively, aimed at promoting people-to-people contact.

The stopping of cross-LoC trade and bus services is the latest in a series of developments to hit ties that were beginning to settle on an even keel after India restarted peace talks with Pakistan in February 2011 following the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. The beheading of Indian troops along the LoC and firing along the border last year put official dialogue on hold for many months.

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