Kashmir unrest partially suspends Indo-Pak trade

     A group of traders in the Kashmir valley has suspended cross border trade with neighbouring Pakistan occupied Kashmir through the Line of Control (LoC) for last two weeks following the prevailing unrest in the Kashmir valley. The trade experts say that the trade is now shrinking day-by-day. "The trade activities for the past one month have been decreased as the situation was bad in the valley and finally it was suspended for one week. Earlier also, it was almost suspended. If earlier, 10 trucks used to go, now only one or two trucks are going, it means that the trade is almost suspended. Ninety percent trade has been suspended because of the bad situation in the valley," said Shakeel Qalandar, President of Federation of Commerce Industries of Kashmir. The trade between the two parts of Kashmir started in 2008 after the demand of the Kashmiris for an alternative trade route for business purpose. Another aim of the cross border trade was to initiate contact between people living in both the regions to maintain peace. A trader attributed this suspension to recent unrest in the valley. "LoC (Line of Control) trade was going on. The goods were being supplied. But it's been closed from past two weeks. The trade, which had to take place on 13-14 July, was suspended from Pakistan 's side. They informed us that trade is suspended. So there was no trade. After that it had to take place on 20-21 July, but it was suspended from our side. As the situation in Kashmir was getting worse day by day with death of persons, we decided to stop trade," said Farooq Ahmad, a trader. Earlier, the trade was witnessing good progress despite many hiccups, but recently Pakistan suspended the trade for one week.

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