Intra-Kashmir trade ‘another CBM’

16 October 2008
The Daily Times

Islamabad: ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and India would put in place an important Kashmir-specific confidence building measure (CBM) with the opening of intra-Kashmir trade from October 21. Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi would inaugurate the intra-Kashmir trade at Chakhoti, Azad Kashmir on October 21 at 10:30am. It would be the second most important Kashmir-related CBM after the launch of a direct bus service across the Line of Control (LoC), enabling Kashmiris to visit their relatives. Items: A Foreign Office spokesperson told Daily Times that intra-Kashmir trade would allow all tradable items produced or manufactured in Kashmir. He said the list of the items would be announced soon. The announcement to start the trade between the two parts of Kashmir was made in pursuit of an earlier agreement reached at the foreign secretary-level talks held in New Delhi on July 21. On September 4, Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Satyabrata Pal had met Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir and the two had agreed to start the trade at the earliest. Consequently, Pakistan’s Additional Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry led a team of experts to India last month and finalised details to help start the cross-LoC trade. A trade delegation from Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and headed by AJK Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Zulfiqar Abbasi visited Indian-held Kashmir this week and held talks with his counterpart Dr Mubeen Shah to start trade.