Stressing the need for a 3rd country banking so that the traders of the cross LOC trade could avail maximum benefits, chief minister Omar Abdullah Saturday said the trade across LoC was started as a Confidence Building Measure and not as mere trade practice between the two countries.
Omar said: “If there are any problem vis-à-vis the banking facilities between the two countries, we can have the 3rd country banking so that the traders could not face further hardships. We can have the third country like Dubai from which the banking facilities could be availed.”
According to the reports received by Kashmir News Service (KNS) Omar while interacting with traders after opening the Trade Facilitation Centre at Salamabad in Uri area of North Kashmir near LOC, said that the former Prime Minister Atal Biharee Vajpayee extended the hand of friendship to Pakistan and tried his utmost to pacify the tensions that had erupted during that period. Omar further stated that the UPA led government pursued the path of friendship and the cross LOC trade was started so that the relations between the two divided parts could get better.
“Peaceful and conducive conditions on the borders give fillip to the trade activities as also enable farmers to carry on agriculture operations smoothly and without any fear”, Omar said .
According to the KNS Uri correspondent, Omar further stated that the need for telephone and banking facilities for traders is required at earliest and that his government has already taken up these issues with the Government of India and will pursue these at the highest level.
The President of cross LOC Traders federation Nazir Ahmad Lone while talking to KNS expressed that the traders are facing the innumerous hardships at present and that the government has always remained reluctant in taking the appropriate measures to facilitate the trade. ”When the trade was started earlier, we used to more than 625 traders and due to te hardships faced by our community , the number has gone town to mere 13.” Nazir further said that the state authorities have always made the hallow promises with the traders and that they have never acted as the facilitators of the trade.