The deadlock continues over cross Loc trade

KL Report

SRINAGAR

The deadlock continues over the cross Loc trade Sunday after police seized 305 packets of narcotics from a truck coming from Muzaffarabad during a routine check on Friday evening in Uri district. The halted trade has instilled fears of huge losses in the traders, if the deadlock continues.

The truck driver Syed Inayat along with the consignment (of around 4.5 kilograms of brown sugar) was arrested. The consignment was coming for the Kashmiri trader, Zahoor Ahmad of Baramulla. He has been arrested.

A case under Section 8/21 of NDPS Act has been registered against the duo and the investigations are on, the police informs.

The arrest triggered a stalement in cross Loc trade on Saturday, stranding 71 drivers along with their vehicles on opposite sides of the LoC. 22 vehicles from Muzaffarabad are stranded at Salamabad trade facilitation centre in Uri; while the 50 trucks from Kashmir are held up in Chakoti in Muzaffarabad. The vehicles were scheduled to crossover on Friday.

“Pakistani side has triggered this deadlock by demanding the evidence of drug smuggling,” said Talat Parvez, Baramulla DC. “We are holding talks tomorrow with them. Hopefully, the deadlock will end.”

Pertinently, since 2008, when the trade began as the major confidence-building measures between the two neighbouring countries, it keeps inviting bad press. In August 2013, the trade ran in rough weather when police recovered cocaine worth Rs 10 crore from a truck, at Sheeri in Uri sector.

In January 2014, the authorities seized drugs worth nearly Rs 100 crore from a truck coming from PoK, which led to stalement in the trade for over a month.

“The issue of import of drugs should be investigated by the National Investigation Agency or CBI to eradicate the evil once forever,” demanded Hilal Ahmad Turki, president of the LoC traders association. “Those who are bringing bad name to the entire trading community should be weed out.”

As the stalement continues, Turkey says, goods especially fresh fruits worth Rs 20 crore are loaded in trucks at the Trade facilitation Centre. “If these are not delivered as per schedule, the losses will be enough to put the genuine traders away from LoC trade,” he fears.

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