India-Pakistan trade resumes after 20-day halt

PTI Muzaffarabad (Pakistan) | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on January 30, 2013

Cross-border trade has been encouraged in recent years as a means of improving relations between India and Pakistan.

Trade between India and Pakistan resumed over the de facto border in Kashmir yesterday after a 20-day halt sparked by deadly army clashes, with traders grumbling about their losses.

Six Pakistani trucks crossed into Indian-administered Kashmir, an official said, ending the halt in trade sparked by the killing of five soldiers earlier this month.

The convoy, carrying onions, dates and dried fruits, crossed the Line of Control (LoC) that divides the two parts of the disputed Himalayan territory, shortly before midday (1130 IST).

A similar number also crossed over from Poonch on the Indian side of the LoC to Rawalakot on the Pakistan side; with dozens more trucks waiting to make the same journey.

Traders on the Pakistani side complained that the closure of the key crossing point had cost them Rs 30 million ($300,000) following the flare-up.

Cross-border trade has been encouraged in recent years as a means of improving relations between the nuclear-armed rivals, who have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir.

Kashan Masood, the head of the traders’ association in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, said the recent disruption had hit business hard.

“We had placed orders for tomatoes and other vegetables from India. They were rotten and we suffered the loss of Rs 30 million,” he said.

“We are always at risk that our business will suffer whenever tension starts on LoC. We are doing this business at our own risk as we don’t have any guarantee from the authorities.”

Kishan Singh, an Indian member of a joint chamber of commerce formed by traders on both sides of the LoC, welcomed the resumption but said it was not enough to dispel the uncertainty.

Published on January 30, 2013
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