After receiving complaints that traders from Pakistan administered Kashmir, face confiscations of their trucks and mercantile goods at the hands of Customs officials after they enter Pakistan from Intra-Kashmir, a meeting was called upon by President of Pakistan Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan to bring out a permanent solution to their longstanding issue, Pakistan media reported.
The report by Dawn News said that despite the fact that its zero-tariff trade on barter basis, traders since 2011, have been meeting with several government functionaries, including Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Muhammad Jahanzeb Khan and Federal Kashmir affairs minister Ali Amin Gandapur, on the issue, but there were no initiatives taken in this regard by the Customs officials.
“We have now sought intervention of the president and prime minister of Pakistan to save this activity which was launched by Islamabad and Delhi in October 2008 with pomp and show as the second major Kashmir specific confidence building measure (CBM) after intra-Kashmir travel,” Dawn news quoted Ajaz Ahmed Meer, one of the three signatories of a letter to both leaders.
Despite not informing us about the place of collection and other required things, the traders were told Pakistan administered Kashmir is a non-tariff area and the goods once brought to the tariff area are liable to [levy of] customs duty.
The traders have sought a permanent solution from the authorities as they undergo a “mental torture and fiscal loss.”
Pertinently, the cross LoC trade between the Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan administered Kashmir through the Uri trading point at the Line of Control (LoC) is also facing many problems. Currently due to restrictions on certain items, as the officials of the other side have permitted only five trucks a day, the traders have complained of enormous hardships.