Moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Friday termed the Centre’s decision to suspend cross-LoC trade “extremely unfortunate” and said such measures for “short-term gains” come at a huge price for the people.
Hardening its stand against Pakistan, India Thursday indefinitely suspended cross-LoC trade at two points along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir effective Friday, following reports that it was being “misused” by elements from across the border to smuggle weapons, narcotics and fake currency.
“Extremely unfortunate that GoI (government of India) instead of enhancing people to people contact as families of both side of LoC stand divided & improving trade & other ties, even whatever little had been achieved since (former PM Atal Bihari) Vajpayee time is being blocked & stopped. “Such measures for short term gains come at a huge price for people” Mirwaiz tweeted.
In an official statement, the Home Ministry said Thursday that orders have been issued for halting the trade at Salamabad of Baramulla in the Kashmir region, and Chakkan-da-Bagh of Poonch district in the Jammu region, after reports of very large scale “misuse” of the cross-LoC trade.
“It has, therefore, been decided by the Government of India to suspend the LoC trade at Salamabad and Chakkan-da-Bagh in Jammu and Kashmir with immediate effect.
“Meanwhile, a stricter regulatory and enforcement mechanism is being worked out and will be put in place in consultation with various agencies. The issue of reopening of LoC trade will be revisited thereafter,” the statement said. Immediately after the announcement, political parties in Jammu and Kashmir termed it an “election gimmick”.