No halt in cross LoC trade: Centre tells J&K Govt

New Delhi, Aug 1: The cross-LoC trade between Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) will not be stopped, notwithstanding reports of terror funding being done through two trading points of the state, the government has asserted.
This was conveyed to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrish during a meeting held in Srinagar yesterday, a home ministry official privy to the development said today.
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 PoK even though the trade between the divided Kashmir has been caught in a controversy after the NIA’s investigation into terror funding in Kashmir, the official said.
The cross-LoC trade and transport facilities are considered major confidence building exercises between India and Pakistan.
The LoC trade has been caught in a controversy over reports that the NIA, which is probing terror funding in Kashmir, may recommend closure of trade along these routes. Mehbooba last week had strongly rooted for cross-LoC trade, stating that the PDP would not allow its closure and continue to work towards opening more routes across the Line of Control with PoK.
The trade across the LoC is under suspension since July 11 after heavy firing and shelling from the Pakistani side caused damage to trade facilitation centres and police barracks.
The cross-LoC bus services on the Poonch-Rawalakot road between Jammu and Kashmir and PoK also remained suspended for the fourth consecutive week due to the shelling.
Meanwhile, the Centre is all set to procure two truck scanners to be installed along the Muzaffarabad-Uri and Poonch-Rawalakot routes soon, the official said.