SRINAGAR: A delegation of Kashmiri traders who on invitation of Pakistan Embassy has held a meeting with visiting Pakistani delegation to discuss the latest issues related the cross-LoC trade.
A meeting was held at Pakistan Embassy between the members of the Joint Chamber (JKJCCI) including its president Dr Mubeen Shah, Yasin Khan (KTMF), Ashraf Mir (FCIK), Shiekh Ashiq (KCCI) and Hilal Turkie (Salambad Chakoti Traders Association), and the delegation of Pakistan who have come to hold the joint working group on LoC was headed by Riffat Masood, Director General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, government of Pakistan, a statement issued here by JKJCCI said.
The statement said, the meeting discussed all the issues pertaining to the LoC trade, which presently has not come to the expectations of the people of J&K.
“The problem of driver arrest recently who as such will not know what are the contents of any package he has brought was discussed and traders reiterated the importance of full truck scanners on all the four points, two on the Pakistan administered Kashmir side and two on the Jammu and Kashmir side,” the statement said.
It is important that these irritants in the trade which have arisen lately because of detection of contraband needs to be tackled in a foolproof system which will exclude this problem completely, the statement said. The JKJCCI would give any cooperation to both the governments, if asked, it assured Pakistani visiting delegation.
The no of items was discussed threadbare with the traders demand that within Jammu and Kashmir any item available in Pakistan administered Kashmir should be available in this side of Kashmir and vice versa and should be duty free and any duty if both the governments of India and Pakistan want to impose should be beyond the borders of Jammu & Kashmiron both sides of LoC.
It was emphasised that the LoC trade should also be based on the principal of non- discriminatory market access (NDMA) between the two parts of divided Kashmir, the traders said.
Pakistan should allow transit trade of Kashmir origin goods, starting with apple exports to markets in middle east and other countries, the delegation told Riffat Masood, according to the statement.
Multiple trade visit permits should be allowed to traders authenticated by JKJCCI between the two sides, it said.
Collabaration in tourism, education, health, hydropower was also discussed besides increase in no of trucks as well as days of trade.
The JKJCCI also stressed that the LoC trade should become actual trade and not a nominal one with total trade to the extent of 3658 crores in more than five years which is not even 1% of the trade conducted via traditional routes presently.