Proposed Pak Items Find No Takers In Valley

20 September 2008
Kashmir Observer

Srinagar: The trans-LOC trade between two parts of Kashmir is unlikely to serve any purpose, at-least for this part of the Kashmir. Among the proposed list of items to be imported from the Pakistan administered Kashmir (PAK), there is hardy anything that a common is looking for. The proposed list of fourteen items for trade include precious stones, namdas, furniture, medicinal plants, embroidered items, peanuts, liquorice, incense, pomegranate dry seeds, Bengal gram, pulses (selective), rock salt and molasses. Inclusion of some of the items including the rock salt in the list is being viewed as an attempt to give Valley people an 'emotional healing touch.' 'Rock salt is there to cool the sentiments of Kashmiris for their longing of it,' poet Zareef Ahmad Zareef said. He said rock salt was being used by the people along with the salt-tea in abundance before partition of Kashmir in 1947. He said that among the proposed list of the items from Pakistan Administered Kashmir there was nothing important for the use of common man and advocated for opening the route for more 'meaningful' things. 'We want free trade and with absolutely no barriers like we used to have before partition. And in simple terms we should be allowed to take oxygen through both nostrils,' he said. President Federation Chamber Industries Kashmir, Shakeel Kalander said that it will be premature to react as nothing has been finalized yet. 'Three important things are missing in the trade talks. 'What to trade? How to trade? Why to trade?' What to trade is opaque at the moment as nobody knows any thing about the actual list of items? So far as the question about how to trade, modalities at the government level are yet to take any shape,' he added. 'All the modalities need to be viewed by the respective members of chamber of commerce and other trade bodies of the two Kashmirs. And regarding why to trade, a trader has to find the ultimate buyer and that is a common man,' he said and was quick to add that opening of the route for trade would serve as biggest Confidence Building Measure in 'ultimate resolution of the Kashmir issue for now.' PIB