The claim was made by PoK’s Director General of Trade, a retired army officer, during a meeting with state government officials for breaking the deadlock over the arrest of the PoK driver, Divisional Commissioner (Kashmir) Shailendra Kumar told reporters.
“Surprisingly, they conveyed that under the (Cross-LoC) pact, these people have diplomatic immunity. We asked for the documents which provide diplomatic immunity even to drivers,” the Divisional Commissioner said.
The PoK authorities have detained 27 Indians and their trucks demanding release of the driver who was arrested after 114 packets of brown sugar valued at Rs 100 crore in the international market were recovered from his vehicle on Friday.
The PoK authorities have also refused to take back their 48 drivers and trucks which had come with goods to this side.
Kumar said the PoK authorities were asking for release of the driver and return of the narcotic substance as well.
“We explained to them that it is not possible as a case has been registered and a judicial process has to be followed. We cannot return them without a trial,” he said.
The Divisional Commissioner said the the PoK authorities were requested to take up the matter with their higher ups as “we are going to follow the law of land in this case”.
“We have also requested the state government to take up the matter with the Centre. We are hopeful some progress will be made in next couple of days,” he said.
The Divisional Commissioner said there were no directions to the administration to start any extra-judicial process. “As per the law, possession of narcotic substance – whether by a local or a foreigner — is banned and illegal,” he said.
There was no information to suggest involvement of the government across the LoC in smuggling of narcotics to Kashmir but “we have to be careful. These substances can be used to target our youths”, Kumar said.
“It is a signal for us to remain vigilant. We need truck scanners to help in detection of illegal substances without unloading goods.”