The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Friday said that the government of India’s order to suspend cross-LoC trade between parts of divided Kashmir via Salamabad (Uri) and Chakan-da-Bagh (Poonch) routes is a huge setback to the peace process.
In a statement, CPI(M) spokesman said that we were demanding measures for strengthening and streamlining the existing trade and travel arrangements across the LoC and modalities for introducing additional Cross-LoC CBMs. The decision of the Central Government to suspend the cross-LoC trade is determinantal to the peace process.
“Instead of providing the cross-LoC traders with banking and telephone facilities, the GoI has virtually taken a reverse gear. Flourishing cross-LoC trade would have helped in the peace process as it was one of the biggest confidence-building-measures (CBMs) between the two countries,” CPI(M) spokesman said.
The CPI (M) spokesman said that if the cross-LoC trade routes were being misused for the illegal inflow of weapons, narcotics and fake currency, as claimed by Government of India, a proper mechanism could have been evolved to stop it.
“Suspending the trade is not the answer to these issues,” he said.
“We demand that instead of closing the trade, the two countries should expand the trade list to cover all items manufactured or produced in the two parts of Kashmir and double the number of trading days, allow trucks carrying cross-LoC trade goods to their final destinations, and open additional routes of Chumb-Pallanwala on the Bhimer-Jammu side and Khoiratta-Noshehra on the Kotli-Rajauri side as these are the shortest and most viable routes for cross-LoC trade,” said CPI (M) spokesman in a statement.