Loss pegged at over Rs 81 cr as cross-LoC trade remains

Cross Loc Trade

Suspension of cross-LoC trade between Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) for the last 17 weeks has resulted in a loss of over Rs 81 crore, an official said today.

Authorities in Jammu and Kashmir have sought a meeting with officials of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) on Thursday to discuss resumption of cross-LoC travel and trade via the Poonch-Rawalkote road.

Trade across the Line of Control (LoC) was suspended on July 11 after heavy firing and shelling from the Pakistani side caused damage to trade facilitation centres and police barracks.

“Due to suspension of trade along the LoC, there was a loss of over Rs 81 crore during the period,” custodian of LoC trade (Poonch), Mohammad Tanveer told PTI.

“We have requested PoK officials — via the government — for a meeting on November 2 to decide on resumption of the cross-LoC travel and trade via the Poonch-Rawalkote road,” he said, adding a response from PoK authorities was awaited.

Cross-LoC trade and transport facilities are considered major confidence building exercises between India and Pakistan. According to official figures, goods worth Rs 1,500 crore was traded since the start of the facility in 2008.

The cross-LoC bus service via Poonch-Rawalakot road too remained suspended for the past 17 weeks.

Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed the worst border skirmishes between India and Pakistan along the LoC this year.

According to Indian Army figures, till August 1, there were 285 such violations by the Pakistan Army, while in 2016, the number was 228 for the entire year.

Eleven people, including nine soldiers, were killed and 18 injured in ceasefire violations by the Pakistan Army in July, according to the Army data.

There were as many as 83 ceasefire violations, one BAT (border action team) attack and two infiltration bids from the Pakistani side in June in which four people, including three jawans, were killed and 12 injured.

The cross-LoC bus services on the Poonch-Rawalakot road between Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) also remained suspended for the fourth consecutive week.

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