Major cross-LoC trade planned along Poonch-Rawalkote road

March 18th, 2008 - 9:19 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Jammu, March 18 (IANS) Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad Tuesday said the Poonch-Rawalkote road would become a major trade route between the two parts of Kashmir. The road is the second across the Line of Control (LoC) route that was thrown open in June 2006 after the Srinagar-Muzzaffarabad route.

The Jammu and Kashmir government is preparing in a big way for trade between India and Pakistan through the Poonch-Rawalkote route.

Hopes have gone up here following an announcement by Union Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh that cross-LoC trade will start in the next three months.

Trucks are waiting to travel from either side of the LoC. The process started in April 2005, when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurated a bus service on the Srinagar-Muzzaffarabad route.

At that time, it was said that cross-LoC trade too would start soon.

Chief Minister Azad told a gathering in Peeri village in the border district of Rajouri, about 180 km north of Jammu, Tuesday afternoon that the Poonch-Rawalkote route would be opened for trade in the coming months.

“So far, this (Poonch-Rawalkote road) has met the aspirations of the divided families from the two sides of the LoC. Now it would boost the trade between the business communities of Jammu and Kashmir and the other side of Kashmir”.

He said that the Mughal-era road would be prepared as a fair-weather road by the end of this year. He said 30 km of road length on either side has been completed.

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