News Column

ISD calling facility permitted for traders across LoC

July 9, 2014


Poonch (Jammu and Kashmir), July 9 (ANI): To boost trade along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, the Central and the state governments have agreed to provide ISD calling facility to the traders of India and Pakistan for enhanced cross border communication.

This was decided at a meeting attended by state Financial Commissioner of Industries and Commerce, K A Ganai and Joint Secretary of Home affairs R K Srivastava among others. The meeting discussed the various demands and problems being faced by the traders and it was decided to provide ISD and modern banking facilities.

Custodian of Chakan Da Bagh Cross Loc Poonch, Bashir Ahmed Loan, said that the facility would allow traders to discuss issues and thus people from both sides would be benefited.

"This is principally agreed that both the trade centres should have ISD facility, so that the traders of both the countries can discuss among themselves and can ask for goods based on rates so that the public on both sides can have good and affordable items," he said.

The facility has been hailed by the traders who feel that this would foster communication and benefit traders from both sides.

"This facility would benefit our traders because we don't have this facility which PoK traders have. This would enhance trade and we can call them any time we want and confirm the rates which will surely benefit trade," said cross LoC trader, Mohammad Javaid Khan.

Cross-LoC trade between Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) was started in October 2008.

The traders have been demanding banking and ISD calling facilities for smooth functioning of the transactions.

The trans LoC trade was suspended after the police in Jammu and Kashmir had seized more than 100 kg (220 lb) of heroin concealed in a truck full of nuts coming from the Pakistan side in January. It was later on resumed in February.

The row erupted when the police impounded a truck coming from Chakoti on the Pakistan side of Kashmir and arrested its driver saying they had found 114 packets of heroin concealed in a cargo of almonds.

Pakistan had halted cross-border trade and bus travel across the Himalayan region after the seizure.

Both India and Pakistan are keen to rebuild ties and diplomats say closer integration of Pakistan with Indian economy could lay the ground for improved political relations. (ANI)

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Source: Asian News International

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