Mother of all the CBM’s expires without a whimper
Srinagar: It has been more than ten years now that the Cross-LoC (Line of Control) trade was started between the two divided parts of Kashmir valley.
The idea of bridging the gap between the people living on the two sides of the divide turned into a reality in October 2008 when the Cross-LoC trade was actually started.
Considered as the mother of all confidence-building measures (CBMs) between India and Pakistan, the trade could not however, grow beyond the barter system.
Many reasons though put the brakes on the growth of this vital trade link, but the reasons that drove it to a mere formality proved to be lack of efficient banking and communication facilities and attempts by some vested interests to use this route for their selfish needs and purposes.
The trade was conducted through two Cross LoC routes — Srinagar-Muzaffarabad route in Kashmir valley and Poonch-Rawalakote route in Jammu division — which were being used to ferry goods between J&K and Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK).
More than 600 traders are registered for the cross LoC trade and 21 items are on the approved export and import list from both routes.
However, only five to six items on the list were being traded. These include fresh fruits, dry fruits, and herbs.
Official figures reveal that goods worth Rs 946 crore have been exported to PaK from Jammu and Kashmir through Poonch-Rawlakote road from 2008-09 till August 2018. Similarly, goods worth Rs 826 crore have been imported from PaK through Poonch-Rawlakote road 2008-09 till August 2018.
According to the figures released by the Cross-LoC Trade Union, goods worth Rs 6,700 crore have been traded between the two sides from Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road since 2008-09.