Jammu, May 20 UNI | 2 months ago

The Indo-Pak traders meet today ended on a positive note at Chakkan-da-Bagh along the Line of Control in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir.

The meeting concluded with a proposal that the traders from both sides will meet quarterly on the LoC and solve the issues related to trade to further strengthen bilateral relations.

''The meeting started at 1220 noon and lasted for around two hours, discussed trade-related issues with suggestions and advise from both the sides in a very cordial atmosphere,'' Sajjad Ahmad Khan, Deputy Commissioner Poonch here told UNI.

Mr Khan said during the meeting, issue of delayed payments of traders on both the sides have been sorted out, adding, ''it was also proposed to revise the list of 21 items being traded between both the countries.''

''A proposal was also put forward by the traders that besides importing and exporting 21 items listed in the trade, the items should also be revised as per the requirement for better trade,'' said the DC.

He further said it was also proposed that the meeting in future will be held after every three months (quarterly) as per the previous scheduled, adding, ''the traders agreed to meet quarterly not only to improve trade relations but also to strengthen Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) signed between India and Pakistan.''

''Hopefully, if all goes well, the next meeting has been scheduled for ending August this year,'' Mr Khan added.

Besides DC Poonch, the delegation from the Indian side comprised SSP Poonch Shamsher Hussain and Jammu Chamber of

Commerce and Industries president Y V Sharma while DG Trade Imtiyaz Ahmad Khan and DC Rawlakote Farid Ahmad led the delegation from PoK side.

''The meeting between traders from both the sides was held after a gap of 14 months,'' he said, adding, ''the meeting was supposed to be held after an interval of every three months but due to some tension between both the countries, it was suspended.

''The traders met me on certain occasions and requested to initiate process for holding meeting. The issue was taken up with the higher authorities and the officials on both the sides finally agreed to hold this event,'' Mr Khan added.

However, sources said the quarterly cross border traders' meet remained suspended after the incidents of beheading of an Indian soldier in January 2013 in Mendhar area of Poonch, killings of five jawans at the LoC near Kahri Karmara in August last year and recent detention of PoK driver after recovery of narcotics in Uri, Srinagar.

The demand, meanwhile, was conceded by both the governments after discussing it at the higher levels including Ministry of External Affairs, Home Affairs and Trade and Commerce and finally it was decided that meet will be held at Chakkan-Da-Bagh on LoC point on May 20.

(Posted on 21-05-2014)