January 20, 2014 12:39:16 am
Pakistan has detained 27 Indian drivers and their trucks involved in bilateral trade across the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir. The detention of Indian drivers in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) is in retaliation to the arrest of a driver from Muzaffarabad by J&K Police after 114 packets of brown sugar — worth over Rs 100 crore in the international market — were seized from his truck on Friday.
“Our 27 trucks and their drivers have been detained there (PoK),” Hilal Turki, general secretary of Salamabad-Chakoti Trade Union, told The Indian Express. “They (PoK authorities) also didn’t allow their trucks to return to Muzaffarabad,” he added.
Deputy Commissioner (Baramulla) Khawaja Ghulam Ahmad said they had talks with the Pakistani authorities Saturday but to no avail. “They are adamant that the (Indian) trucks would be allowed to cross over to J&K only after the release of the (Pakistani) driver,” Ahmad said.
On Friday, J-K Police said they had recovered 114 packets of brown sugar from a truck at Salamabad Trade Facilitation Centre. The truck belonging to Al Fajar Company in PoK had come from Muzaffarabad carrying almonds. Police said they found the packets of brown sugar during routine checking.
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