SRINAGAR: Terming cross-LoC trade a confidence building measure (CBM) of great significance for J&K, Minister for Roads & Buildings Naeem Akhtar today said it is a step that could pave the way for larger reconciliation in the region.
Naeem Akhtar, who is also the State Government spokesman, said Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has already made it clear that both the Centre and the State Governments are keen to continue the cross-LoC trade. He said the Government would never like the achievements registered through opening the cross-LoC routes to be reversed by suspending this CBM.
Referring to world as a global village, the Minister said that the government wants to link the J&K with outside world through the traditional routes, adding that the government is working towards opening more routes to promote economic activities in all the regions of the State.
The Minister said falling prey to certain controversies it is not good to stop or suspend trade activities across LoC, saying that such controversies had also erupted on Wagah Border with Pakistan and Doklam with China but the trade activities across the border remain going.
Referring to some incidents of narcotics and arms smuggling on trade points across LoC, the Minister called for beefing up security to check such activities. The government has the proposal to install the full body scanner for scrutiny of vehicles carrying commodities across the LoC to contain the smuggling, the Minister maintained.
Pertinently, according to a news report, the central government has asserted that the cross-LoC trade between Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) will not be stopped.
This, according to the report, was conveyed to the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi during a meeting held in Srinagar Monday.
The Union Home Secretary told Mehbooba that the central government has no plans to stop the cross-LoC trade between Jammu and Kashmir and the PaK even though the trade between the divided Kashmir has been caught in a controversy.
According to the report, the cross-LoC trade and transport facilities are considered major confidence building exercises between India and Pakistan.