Indo-Pak officials likely to meet next month on LoC trade

New Delhi: India and Pakistani officials are likely to meet here next month to review Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for trade along the Line of Control in the wake of the row over arrest of a truck driver hailing from Pakistan-administered Kashmir (PaK) for allegedly smuggling ‘brown sugar’ worth Rs.100 crore.
Trading relations between the two countries had hit a new low following the incident at Kaman post in Uri of North Kashmir on January 17 and the traders were not allowed to cross over for over three weeks.
However, the matter was resolved and the trading began in Poonch-Rawalakaote of Jammu division on February 20 but it could not restart in Uri-Muzaffarabad road in Kashmir division as PaK authorities refused to open the gates.
Amid indications that Pakistan is willing to resume full fledged cross-LoC trade, a daylong meeting was held here Wednesday to finalise the agenda of a meeting likely next month, official sources said.
During the meeting, participated by officials from External, Home and Finance ministries, banks, security agencies, Army and state government, it was decided to work out ways for increasing volume of trade besides reviewing the list of items exchanged in the cross-LoC trade in the meeting with Pakistani officials.
The sources said both sides will review the latest development of the case pertaining to brown sugar seizure and work out a formula to deal with such incidents in future.—PTI