Kashmir Traders Fear Negative Impact On Cross Border Trade

5 December 2008

Srinagar: Traders in Jammu and Kashmir fear the strained relations between India and Pakistan over the recent Mumbai terror attacks would hamper cross border trade between both countries. They are keeping their fingers crossed since they apprehend the recently revived cross border trade between Indian Kashmir and Pakistan administered Kashmir could receive a severe blow due to the tense relations between the two countries. 'If this trade is stopped, we will be badly affected. If a war takes place between India and Pakistan, it will leave an adverse impact on poor people,' said Sultan Pervez, a trader.Keeping this aspect in view, the traders have appealed to both the countries to maintain peace and cooperate with each other to fight the terror suspects of Mumbai attacks. 'We hope that the leadership of both the countries make a decision after careful thought. LoC trade between both the countries should continue although we're apprehensive looking at the present situation,' said Bashir Ahmed, president, Fruit Growers Association, Kashmir. India and Pakistan agreed on September 22 on arrangements to reopen a border route for bilateral trade between parts of the divided Kashmir on the Poonch-Rawalakot and the Srinagar- Muzaffarabad route from October 21. The trade across the LoC resumed after a gap of 60 years has been viewed by many as the effective and major confidence building measure so far between India and Pakistan.