Kashmir traders welcome India, Pakistan cross-LoC trade boost


Traders have welcomed measures to boost cross-LoC (Line of Control) trade announced by India and Pakistan in disputed Kashmir trade, and have welcomed the announcements as “encouraging.”

“It is a welcome development but we were expecting more,” Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industry KCCI President Nazir Ahmad Dar said. He said it was disappointing that there was no mention of basic demands of cross-LoC traders like banking facilities and scrapping of trading list.

“Banking facility is basic requirement of any trade. We had also demanded that items allowed for trade through LoC routes should be expanded and trade itself should be demand driven,” he said.

Dar said the two countries should allow free travel of traders across the LoC and they should be granted permits valid for two to three years. “We had also sought that trade should be Rupee-based.”

Hilal Ahmad Turki, general secretary Salamabad-Chakothi Traders Association hoped these measures will help strengthen confidence between two countries. India, Pakistan Foreign Ministers in talks Wednesday, announced measures to boost trade and double number of trading days from two to four a week (Tuesday to Friday).

A list of 21 products of permissible items for Cross-LoC trade will be respected by both sides with working group between two countries to review trading list to further specifying permissible items to facilitate cross-LoC trade.

Both countries will facilitate regular meetings between chambers of commerce and traders of both sides.

“Hopefully, with the announcement, connectivity will be extended to us as we are active on the ground and there is hardly any role of chamber in contemporary trade,” Turki added.

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