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Cross-LoC travel resumes, trade to restart Tuesday

Posted on Jan 28, 07:20PM | IANS

Travel across the Line of Control (LoC) that divides Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan resumed Monday after being suspended due to tension between the two countries following the Jan 8 killing of two Indian soldiers. Trade will resume Tuesday, an official said here.

According to the official, 85 people, who had come to meet relatives and overstayed due to the tension along the LoC, returned home.

"We are clearing the backlog first," an official in Poonch district said, adding that no new passengers went to Pakistani Kashmir Monday.

The cross-LoC travel takes place every Monday. There were 109 people from across the LoC in Poonch and Rajouri districts when trouble broke out on Jan 8. This travel to unite divided families was one of the confidence building measures (CBMs) that began in 2005 from Salamabad to Chakoti in Kashmir valley and Chakan da Bagh to Rawalakot in Poonch district of Jammu region.

Trade, which will resume Tuesday, takes place from Tuesday to Friday every week. Goods worth Rs.2 crore are traded every day with about 25 trucks crossing over.

The trade was halted Jan 10 when Indian officials said Pakistan did not open gates for the trucks at Chakan-da-Bagh.

India-Pakistan relations took a hit after New Delhi accused Pakistani troops of brutally killing two Indian soldiers along the LoC Jan 8 and beheading one of them.

Pakistan accused Indian troops of killing two Pakistani soldiers on two separate days. In retaliation to the beheading and the mutilation of the other soldier, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declared that there could be no business as usual with Pakistan.