Pakistan deplores India’s suspension of cross-LoC trade
Islamabad: Pakistan has strongly opposed the unilateral Indian decision to close down cross-LoC trade and has said it rejects “groundless” Indian allegations that the route is being used for smuggling, narcotics, fake currency and terrorism, according to a statement issued by Pakistan’s foreign office on Sunday.
“The unilateral suspension of this Kashmir-related CBM (confidence building measure) indicates that India is seeking to reverse even the modest gains made by the two countries in the diplomatic domain,” said Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry.
Islamabad termed the trade suspension without any prior consultations as “deeply regrettable” and said the cross-LoC trade had been a result of “arduous diplomatic efforts.”
The FM added that suspension of cross border trade was an attempt by India to increase the economic hardships of divided Kashmiris and diminished their chances of benefiting from the confidence building measure taken by both sides.
For its part, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said, Pakistan would continue working for enhanced economic interaction among the Kashmiris and urged India to resolve differences through constructive engagement “with a view to transitioning from conflict to cooperation.”
India’s decision has sparked fears among traders who have invested billions of rupees in the barter trade launched in October 2008 as the second Kashmir-specific confidence building measure (CBM) between India and Pakistan after cross-LoC travel, Pakistan’s FM said .