India, Pak ready to start cross-Line of Control trade
a on Thursday informed Pakistan that it was ready to start cross-Line of Control trade from October 1, following which Islamabad offered to host a meeting to speedily operationalise commerce between the two parts of Kashmir. During a meeting with Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, High Commissioner Satyabrata Pal stated that the Indian side was prepared to start cross-LoC trade from October 1, diplomatic sources said. Pal told Bashir that India hoped Pakistan too would be ready to start trade between the divided parts of Kashmir from next month, the sources said. Following this, Bashir said Pakistan was willing to host a meeting in Islamabad to operationalise the trade. "Pakistan has proposed to India to host a meeting in Islamabad to operationalise, as soon as possible, the cross-LoC intra-Kashmir trade," said a statement from Pakistan's Foreign Office. The proposal is "in pursuit of the agreement-in-principle already reached at foreign secretary-level talks" held in New Delhi on July 21, the statement said. Bashir also conveyed the readiness of the Chamber of Commerce of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to send a delegation to Srinagar as soon as possible. The sources said the Indian side had sought a meeting with the Pakistani Foreign Secretary to explore ways to start trans-LoC trade. "This issue had already been agreed upon and there was a need to discuss how to operationalise it," a source said.