SRINAGAR: The meeting of the traders from both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) is scheduled to take place Thursday with the participants likely to discuss the liabilities worth Rs 1, 00, 00, 000.
Secretary of the Salamabad- Chakoti Traders Association Hilal Ahamd Turki told Kashmir Reader on Sunday that the joint meeting of the traders is scheduled to take place at the Chakoti-Uri crossing point on the LoC.
“We will find out the ways for settling the claims of about Rs 1, 00, 00,000 that have piled up over the years,” he said.
As per the norms laid out for the cross-LoC trade, Turki said, the traders are supposed to meet every three months.
“Since the meetings are rarely held as per the norms, the liabilities always remain unsettled for longer periods,” he said. “Many traders from both the sides usually dissociate from the cross-LoC trade without settling the deals, but there are no means to prevent this sudden departure. So, liabilities only keep on increasing.”
Cross-LoC trade has been going on as a Confidence Building Measure (CBM) between India and Pakistan for more than six years. It, however, continues to follow the barter system of trading, leaving the involved traders without much needed communication and banking links.
According to Turki, in the upcoming meeting the traders “will also work on ways to push for common agendas such as increase in the number of trade items, banking, telecommunication, and traders’ free movement across the LoC.”
“In this meeting, we want to chalk out a programme based on our common agendas. Later, the traders on both sides will pursue the programme vigorously to make New Delhi and Islamabad agree to our demands,” he added.
Turki informed that officials from Jammu and Kashmir as well as from the Pakistan administered Kashmir will also be a part of the meeting, which will have 10 traders each representing either side of Kashmir.
The meeting is a follow up on the meeting of trade officials held in December. In the previous meeting, the officials had decided to meet once every month and also to facilitate the meetings between the traders.