MUZAFFARABAD - Cross-Line of Control trade on Muzaffarabad-Srinagar route resumed on Wednesday after remaining suspended for 41 days but it is feared to be closed again soon as another controversy surfaced when officials at Chakoti Trade Centre put the condition of unloading the goods trucks for checking.
The Trade Centre Chakoti administration put the condition that all the goods trucks will be fully unloaded and checked and loaded again for further travel after the checking. However, the traders refused to accept this new condition arguing that it will spoil their goods and cause them financial damages.
Due to this controversy, 22 trucks coming from Occupied Kashmir and four trucks from Azad Kashmir went back from the Line of Control in protest and did not travel to the other side.
They said that 22 trucks carrying goods from the Indian-held side left Salamabad Trade Facilitation Centre on Wednesday morning for Azad Kashmir. But they returned and did not complete the route in protest. The AJK authorities suspended the cross-LoC trade on January 17 after 114 packets of brown sugar were recovered from a truck coming from Muzaffarabad and the driver was arrested.
The travel on Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road was also suspended. Pakistan was demanding release of the arrested driver.
Although the officials from the two sides agreed to resume travel services after two weeks, the trade remained suspended till Wednesday. However, the new controversy has endangered the trade resumption again.
Representatives of the LOC traders told INP that they were not against the checking, but full unloading of their trucks was unacceptable as it will cause great inconvenience for them and also damage their goods. They demanded the Pakistan and AJK governments to take notice of the matter and order installation of modern scanning system at Chakoti trade centre in order to curb smuggling and facilitate the traders.