Cancelled from Uri, cross LoC trade continued from Poonch

A day after the cross LoC trade was suspended from North Kashmir’s Uri route, normal trade went on along the Poonch route between India and Pakistan.

25 trucks crossed over from this side while six goods-laden trucks were received at Chakan da Bagh on the Poonch-Rawalakote route today, officials said.

They said that 25 trucks crossed over from this side early on Wednesday while six goods-laden trucks from the other side were received at Chakan da Bagh.

“Bus service on Monday and LoC trade on Tuesday and Wednesday have been normal as usual,” said cross LoC Point Custodian, Tanveer Ahmed.

Pertinently, trade and bus service remained suspended through Uri yesterday due to escalation of tensions along the Line of Control (LoC). The was suspended following the strained relations between India and Pakistan after the escalation of tension along the de-facto border as the troops from both the sides have engaged in heavy firing.

Pertinently, early Tuesday morning the trucks were cleared by the security officials to be plied to the other side of LoC and remained stranded through the day as there was no word from the Pakistani Authorities over allowing the vehicles to the other side.

However, it was only late afternoon at around 4 pm that the traders were informed that the cross-LoC service has been suspended for the day. A top security official said that the tension has mounted along the LoC in Uri sector after Army claimed to have foiled earlier an infiltration bid by militants who had been backed by the Pakistan’s special action force of Border Action Team (BAT).

At least eight militants have been killed in the past one week, along the LoC, who were trying to sneak into this side.

Although some 35 vehicles had been plying on an average between the two sides, the number of vehicles was on a higher side on Tuesday due to the demand for fresh fruits in PaK. The LoC trade had remained largely unaffected even during the heightened tensions between India and Pakistan last year that followed after the killing of HM militant commander, Burhan Muzafar Wani, in July.

The killing had triggered widespread protests, while there was a frequent violation of the 2003 ceasefire agreement as the troops exchanged constant firing resulting in large scale evacuation of people. India and Pakistani troops have also exchange heavy mortar fire in the Balakote and Mendhar areas of Jammu division recently due to which thousands of people were evacuated to safer places.

President of the Salamabad Trader’s Union, Hilal Turki, said that they fear a loss of over Rs 2-3 crore in case the suspension continues.

“We have got the orders for fresh fruit mostly of bananas from the Pakistani side, but none of the vehicles was allowed to the other side of LoC on Tuesday,’’ he said.

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