The government has shut down cross-LoC trade at two points starting Friday, 19 April, in Jammu and Kashmir, a Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) official statement said on Thursday.
“The action has been taken as the government has been receiving reports of cross-LoC trade routes being misused by Pakistan-based elements for funnelling illegal weapons, narcotics and fake currency, etc,” the MHA said.
The trade has been suspended at Salamabad and Chakkan-da-Bagh in J&K, the ministry pointed out, adding that a stricter regulatory and enforcement mechanism is being worked out, and will be put in place in consultation with various agencies, with the issue of reopening of the trade to be revisited after that.
Move Draws Flak from Mehbooba, Omar
Former state chief ministers, Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah took to Twitter to criticise the Ministry of Home Affairs’ decision to suspend cross-LoC trade in the Valley.
In a tweet, Mehbooba Mufti said, “Using Kashmir as a scapegoat to claw its way back to power won’t help BJP. It’s an excuse to worsen ties with Pak despite their peace overtures. By doing this, PM Modi has dismantled a CBM initiated by Vajpayee ji. Won’t be surprised if an attack on Pak is in the offing.”
Reacting to the ban, Omar Abdullah tweeted, “The Modi Govt buries another of the Vajpayee era CBM. Cross-LoC trade was a legacy of the Vajpayee Govt to facilitate greater people-to-people contact across the Line of Control in J&K.”
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(With inputs from ANI and PTI.)