Traders scheduled to visit Pakistani Kashmir denied visa

June 1st, 2009 - 1:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Jammu, June 1 (IANS) Members of a 12-strong Kashmiri traders’ delegation, about to visit Pakistan and Pakistan Administered Kashmir Monday to hold talks for promoting cross-border trade, were denied visa by Pakistani authorities at the last minute, officials said.
Ram Sahai, president of the Jammu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said they were told Sunday evening that the Pakistan government had denied visa to the delegation “due to turmoil and violence”.

“We were to leave Jammu today (Monday) and then board a flight from Delhi to Islamabad. All arrangements were done but we were conveyed last evening that the visa request has been turned down. The visit has been deferred but we do not know the fresh dates,” Sahai told IANS.

The delegation was earlier to travel to Pakistan through the Wagah border but then they were told to take a flight from Delhi. They were scheduled to have meetings in Islamabad and at three places in Pakistan Administered Kashmir for promotion of trade across the Line of Control (LoC) between the two sides of Kashmir that has been on since October last year.

A delegation of the Pakistan Administered Kashmir Chamber of Commerce had visited the Indian side last October and a team from Jammu and Kashmir was to pay a return visit in December. But it was put off following the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack. This is the second time the visit has been deferred.

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