PoK PM Hails Opening Up Of Cross-border Trade

22 October 2008
Asian News International

Kaman Post (LoC): Prime Minister of the Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan has hailed the opening up the trade link across divided Kashmir for the first time in six decades. Speaking to media persons at the Kaman Post on the Indian side, Khan expressed hopes of unlimited and unrestricted trade with the passage of time, and also an increase in the frequency of buses and trucks between the two countries. 'Frequency of bus and trucks should be increased. The volume of trade should be unlimited and unrestricted. With the passage of time, I'm sure all these restrictions will be lifted,' he said. The people in Indian Kashmir welcomed the opening of the trade link, as hope of better business uplifted their spirits. 'Everybody is happy. Kashmiris are very happy and hope that this trade continues to progress,' said Bashir Ahmed, a driver. The decision, taken last month to allow limited trade across the front line in Kashmir, symbolises attempts to solve dispute over the region by creating 'soft borders' allowing the easier movement of goods and people. On Tuesday, white doves (representing peace) were released as 14 Pakistani trucks bedecked with the national flag crossed a bridge into Indian Kashmir carrying rice, onions and dried fruit. It was the first time vehicles were allowed across the ceasefire line and the newly constructed Aman Setu, since the 1948 Indo-Pak war.