Fourth round of meeting of Cross LoC officials remains inconclusive

Fourth round of meeting of Cross LoC officials remains inconclusive

Srinagar: The fourth round of talks between the state officials and the Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) government at the Kaman Post in the north Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Tuesday over the resumption of the trade ties remained inconclusive with Pakistan officials reiterating their demand for the release of their detained driver.

Officials told GNS that the meeting between the two sides couldn’t break the ice, as the PaK authorities refused to resume the trade unless their driver arrested on charges of smuggling narcotics into Valley is not released. The PaK delegation was led by Retired Brigadier Mohammad Ismail Khan, while the delegation from this side was led by Deputy Commissioner (DC), Baramulla, Ghulam Ahmad Khwaja. The meeting started at 3:30 pm and ended at 5:30 pm without any conclusion.

A senior official who was part of the talks told GNS that the meeting remained inconclusive as PaK authorities demanded immediate release of the driver.

“The next meeting will be held on February 10 to break the deadlock,” the official added.

Pertinently, Indo-Pak officials have held three meetings in the past to resolve the crisis caused by the arrest of the Pakistani driver. The first and second meetings on January 18, and January 27, remained inconclusive, while the meeting on January 30 was partially successful as both the sides announced to resume travel ties.

However, trade across the Line of Control (LoC) remained suspended. The commerce was suspended on January 17 after the arrest of the driver and seizure of the vehicle by India. Pakistani authorities later detained 27 drivers and their vehicles from India who had gone to Chakote near Muzaffarabad with trade goods.

Pakistan also refused entry to 48 of its own trucks, demanding the Indian authorities to release the arrested driver and allow the return of all 49 trucksthat had come to the Salamabad trade centre in Baramulla district Jan 17. (GNS)

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