No cross-LoC trade since July 21

Business Desk/Srinagar
August 1, 2017 0 Comments BUSINESS 99 Views
No cross-LoC trade since July 21

The Karvan-e-Aman bus, operating between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) was suspended today while the cross-Line of Control (LoC) trade remained grounded since July 21 when over 60 kg of drugs were recovered from a truck at Trade Facilitation Centre (TFC) in Uri.
However, chief minister Mehbooba Mufti has said that she will not allow trade between the two parts to derail and pitched for opening more trade routes between Jammu and Kashmir and PaK.
The weekly bus has been suspended today between the two sides after a message was received from Pakistan that there is a holiday today in POK on account of 14th death anniversary of founding president of POK Sardar Mohammad Ibrahim Khan, official sources told UNI.
They said all those who were scheduled to travel in the bus from this side have accordingly been informed. They will be adjusted in the next bus, they said.
The bus service, a major Confidence Building Measure (CBM) between India and Pakistan after 1999 Kargil War, continued despite unrest in Kashmir in 2016 and tension on the LoC, due to ceasefire violation and subsequent surgical strike by Indian troops in the PaK.
The cross-LoC bus service started on April 7, 2005 despite opposition by militant organisations has helped thousands of families, divided in 1947 due to partition, to meet each other after India and Pakistan agreed to allow travel of state subjects from both sides on travel permits, instead of international passport.
The travel permit is issued to the state subject from both sides of the LoC, only after their names are cleared by the intelligence agencies from India and Pakistan.
However, only state subjects from both sides can avail the cross-LoC bus facility.
Meanwhile, the cross-LoC trade between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad remained suspended since July 21 when 66.5 kgs of narcotic drugs were recovered from a truck , which was part of the trade that started from 2008. Police said that acting on specific information about the transportation of narcotic drugs from PaK to this side by means of cross LOC trade, a police team intercepted a truck at Trade Centre Salamabad, Uri on July 21.
During checking, he said police recovered 66.5 kgs of narcotic drugs which appear to be heroin from the truck.
“The drugs were hidden in fake cavities specifically fabricated for this purpose in boxes purportedly to contain mercantile goods,” he said.
He said the driver of the truck, identified as Syed Yousuf, son of Ali Akbar, has been arrested.
The estimated cost of the heroin is worth crores of rupees in the international market.
In the past, heroin and other drugs were also recovered from the trucks from PaK, leading to suspension of trade for some time.
Baramulla police had registered a case FIR number 54/2017 under section 29 NDPS Act and further investigation has been taken up.
Meanwhile, the NIA had grilled a number of separatist leaders, including Nayeem Ahmad Khan, chief of National Front (NF), who had allegedly admitted during a sting-operation by a national news channel that they (separatists) were receiving funds from PaK and Pakistan for financing militancy and stone pelting.
During the course of investigation, the NIA has reportedly found some companies doing business through cross-LoC trade transferring funds to militancy purpose in the J&K.
About 300 companies and traders are engaged in cross-LoC trade since 2008 after India and Pakistan agreed to resume the trading activities since 1947.
The agency suspects that several crores of rupees were handed over to Over Ground Workers (OGWs) of militant groups and separatists to allegedly fuel the massive protests and violence in the Valley following the killing of the Burhan Wani of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) in July 2016. However, the separatists have denied the allegations.
In March this year, security forces and police intercepted a truck coming from PaK and recovered arms and ammunition. The driver of the truck Irshad Ahmad Mantoo, a resident of south Kashmir Kulgam, was arrested after the arms consignment was recovered from his truck at Sheeri in Baramulla.
He had received the consignment from a militant operative in PoK and had hidden it in a cavity in his truck that was bringing in merchandise from across the border.

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