India objects to multiple permits to IHK traders
Trade visits to AJK
MIRPUR (AJK) – Citing security reasons, Indian-Held Kashmir’s Home Department has objected to issuing multiple permits to IHK traders for their visits to markets in Azad Jammu & Kashmir, says a report reaching here Saturday from across the Line of Control.
Quoting officials in Srinagar, the report underlined that the proposal was opposed by the India’s Criminal Investigation Department which has conveyed ‘objections’ to the Home Department in Srinagar on the ground that ‘it would risk the security’.
The report continued that the objections have also been brought to the notice of Industries and Commerce Department of Indian-Held Kashmir. According to the report, the objections came as the infrastructure at the cross-LoC points in both Kashmir and Jammu regions. The report further said that the Indian-Held Kashmir “authorities” were considering for a long time the possibility of setting up full-body truck scanners to ensure the manual checking of the items being traded between the two sides.
More than 50 to 70 trucks travel between AJK and occupied Kashmir on the Srinagar-Muzafarabad Road on a given day. The report further revealed that only the X-ray scanner have been installed on the Srinagar-Muzafarabad Road and the Indian Union Home Ministry is to clear setting up of a full-body scanner at the Trade Facilitation Centre at Salamabad inUri on Muzaffarabad-Srinagar route.
The report pointed out that the opposition to the permits came months after the L-C trade remained suspended in Srinagar for several days in February this year.
“The practice as of now is that only the drivers are permitted to visit the other side and even if there are issues to be discussed between the officials here, the meeting is held with the officials from the AJK side at the zero point,” the report said quoting a senior government official in Srinagar. “The official added that while the drivers from AJK can move up to Salamabad, those from occupied Kashmir side can travel up to Chakothi only.” Principal Secretary Home Department in Srinagar said, “It is the mandate of the Industries Department to take steps on strengthening the cross-LoC trade.”