Restricted trading allowed in Kashmir regions

ISLAMABAD — India and Pakistan have decided toallow trading of only raw products, mostly food items, between the divided regions of Jammu and Kashmir after 59 years of forced detachment.

By From A Correspondent

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Published: Thu 1 Jun 2006, 10:46 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 3:15 PM

Informed sources said that the two sides agreed that novalue added products — manufacturing products — would be allowed for trade under the proposed trading treaty between the two Kashmiri regions.

The sources said that value added products were not included in the list of the proposed tradeable items on the pretext that it would be very difficult for both sides to differentiate between Kashmiri and non-Kashmiri products.

Moreover, in case of value added products, on both sides, traders from non-Kashmir areas would try to dump their products in the region, which would not benefit the local Kashmiris.

The sources said an understanding to this effect was reached in the second technical level talks held recently in Islamabad headed by foreign ministry officials of the both sides.

Under the proposed treaty, commercial trucks are expected to start plying the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad route following the finalisation of the wish lists of products for trading.

The proposed Poonch-Rawalakot bus service to ferry Kashmiri passengers across the LoC is scheduled to kick off in the later part of next month, said the sources.

The proposed list of items to be imported from Indian held Kashmir included local Kashmiri carpets, embroidery items — mostly Kashmiri shawls, spices, moong, apricot, almond, coriander, saffron etc. While the proposed list of items of Azad Kashmir for export to that region included fruits, apricot, spices, rice, marble, vegetables including onion, garlic, etc. The products would be finalised in consultation with all the stakeholders on both sides of the line of control, the sources said and added it was expected that the list would be finalised after the budget.

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