After 24 Years, Phone Link To Pakistan From Jammu And Kashmir Resumes

27 June 2014

Srinagar: Achai din aane wale hain, at least for the cross-LoC traders! Ahead of prime minister Narendra Modi's visit, the Centre has agreed to start direct phone link to at designated points for officers and traders to boost the cross-LoC trade in Jammu and Kashmir. Modi is likely to visit J&K on July 4 to inaugurate train to Katra. The decision was taken in a joint meeting between the officers of J&K government and two member team of Union ministry of home affairs comprising joint secretary (J&K affairs) RK Srivastava and deputy secretary Sulekha here. 'Provision of ISD facilities to senior officers dealing with the cross LoC trade and designated heads of traders association was also agreed to (in the meeting),' said an official spokesman of J&K government. For the last 24 years, outgoing calls from Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan have been barred owing to the militancy and precarious security situation Apart from direct phone link to Pakistan, full body truck scanners, enhancement of cash amount to be carried by the passengers traveling across to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) and up-gradation of infrastructure at trade facilitation centre Salamabad- Uri and Chakan da Bagh-Poonch are all lined-up to boost the trade and travel in J&K. The decision to boost trade comes six months after major standoff between India and Pakistan over the arrest of a PoK trucker who smuggled brown sugar worth Rs100 crore in his truck. Pakistan later detained 27 Indian truckers demanding the release of the PoK driver.