Kashmiri traders want more of India-Pakistan tradeJuly 28th, 2011 - 5:07 pm ICT by IANS
Srinagar, July 28 (IANS) The announcement of Kashmir-linked measures, increasing travel and trade between India and Pakistan, has made the common man in Jammu and Kashmir happy but left the traders asking for more.
Cross-Kashmir confidence-building measures (CBMs) were the centrepiece of the joint statement issued Wednesday after talks between Foreign Ministers S.M. Krishna of India and Hina Rabbani Khar of Pakistan.
New Delhi and Islamabad increased the number of trading days in a week from two to four. They said travel across the Line of Control (LoC), which divides Kashmir between them, would be expanded.
The trading list across LoC will also be reviewed, specifying permissible items. Travel procedures are to be simplified and frequency of bus services between the two Kashmirs will go up.
Nazir Ahmad, secretary of the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was upbeat about the increase in the number of trading days but insisted that traders needed banking facilities.
“The main demand of the traders of providing banking facilities and ending the present barter system has not been accepted. We had also demanded that the cross LOC trade should be Rupee based as it is basically trade within the state,” said Nazir.
Another industry leader, Shakeel Qalandar, said: “The CBMs are welcome but the demand for allowing cross LOC trade in all tradable commodities has not been fulfilled.”
Hilal Ahmad Turki, general secretary of Cross LOC Traders’ Association, complained that “the main demands have not been fulfilled”.
However, common Kashmiris believe Khar has brought a new life into India-Pakistan relations.
“The young foreign minister of Pakistan has said the stated positions of each country should not become impediments in resolution of the problems. This is ultimately going to result in the solution of our problems,” said Muzaffar Ahmad, a college lecturer.
Added Javaid Ahmad, 41, a television producer: “Khar said the burden of history should not stop the neighbours from moving ahead in building trust and confidence essential for good neighbourly relations. This does not mean Kashmir has been forgotten.
“It means the two countries have to reach a stage in mutual friendship where all sensitive and emotional disputes can be resolved peacefully,” he said.
Locals appreciated the shift in focus from war to peace between the two countries.
“They have talked of peace and that is the most important thing for us. Tension and war between India and Pakistan have always meant destruction for us. Peace between them would bring peace to our lives,” said Mehraj-ud-Din, a fruit seller.
(Sheikh Qayoom can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
- High hopes in Kashmir as India meets Pakistan - Jul 24, 2011
- India, Pakistan foreign secretaries to hold talks Tuesday - Jul 25, 2011
- India, Pakistan foreign ministers begin talks - Jul 27, 2011
- India, Pakistan to announce CBMs on Kashmir, nuclear issues - Jul 08, 2011
- New cross-LoC CBMs on anvil; 26/11, Fai to figure in India-Pakistan talks (Second Lead) - Jul 24, 2011
- India-Pakistan talk, hope for peaceful ties (Lead) - Jul 27, 2011
- Cross-Kashmir CBMs ahead of India, Pakistan talks - Jul 16, 2011
- India, Pakistan discuss cross-Kashmir CBMs, terror (Lead) - Jul 26, 2011
- India, Pakistan firm up new cross-Kashmir CBMs - Jul 18, 2011
- Day 2 of talks: India and Pakistan discuss Kashmir - Jun 24, 2011
- Indian, Pakistani foreign secretaries begin talks - Jul 26, 2011
- Cross LoC trade hampered by barter system, lack of banking (With Image) - Mar 01, 2012
- India, Pakistan hope to move forward, finalise CBMs (Night Lead) - Jul 26, 2011
- India, Pakistan agree on cross-Kashmir linkages, set positive tone (Evening Lead) - Jul 26, 2011
- Foreign ministers of India, Pakistan to meet July 27 (Lead) - Jul 21, 2011
Tags: barter system, centrepiece, chamber of commerce and industry, college lecturer, common man, confidence building, foreign ministers, hina rabbani khar, impediments, india and pakistan, india pakistan, nazir ahmad, pakistan relations, pakistan trade, rabbani, srinagar, television producer, traders association, travel procedures, turki