Pak to resume cross-LoC trade ‘in the interest of Kashmiris’

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan said on Thursday it has decided to resume cross-border trade in Kashmir after weeks of suspension over arrest of a Pakistani driver by the Indian authorities over smuggling charges.
Pakistan in a tit-for-tat response also detained several Indian trucks on its part of Kashmir last month that led to suspension of trade across the Line of Control (LoC), which divides the two countries in Kashmir.
“Pakistan has decided to resume trade through LoC in the best interest of Kashmiris,” the Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Tasnim Aslam, said.
She told a weekly press briefing in Islamabad that Pakistan does not want to create any impediment in cross-LoC activities and hopes for the same gesture from the other side.
The spokesperson informed the proposed meeting of working group on cross-LoC trade is likely to take place in New Delhi later this month.
Both countries have already resumed passenger bus services that were stopped after the controversy.
India had alleged Pakistan had stopped the movement of trucks and buses between divided Kashmir following the arrest of a truck driver from Pakistan-controlled Kashmir on January 17 at Salamabad trade facilitation center in Uri town.
Indian police said the driver was carrying narcotics worth 18.5 million US dollars hidden in his truck. Pakistan had rejected smuggling charges against the driver.
The cross-LoC trade between the divided parts of Kashmir was started in 2008.
The trade since then is going on barter pattern.—Agencies