Uri (Jammu and Kashmir), Jan 20 : The residents of Uri district of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday demanded opening of "a proper trade centre" in the region, which would help them to reap benefits from India-Pakistan trade taking place via Muzaffarabad road link.
"For the past two years, we have been listening about the proposed opening of the trade route. But we feel it would not help the people of Uri. How are we going to be benefited from it?"," Traders Association president of Uri Mohammed Amin said.
India and Pakistan had decided to introduce a truck service on Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road in 2005, nearly five months after launching the historic bus service on the same route.
The governments of India and Pakistan had decided to facilitate trade ties between the two countries by allowing free movement of goods and services, without imposing any duty on it.
The Indian Government in its effort to start trans-border trade with Pakistan had sent a list of 14 products to Pakistan for approval, out of which the authorities had selected Kashmiri carpets, saffron, rugs, shawls, fruits, flowers, silk products for trade purposes in Pakistan.
The initiative will give a boost to Indian trade with Pakistan, but the traders felt it was only meant for the benefit of few.
"We want that trucks should go via Uri so that the businessmen here can also send their products to the other side of the border and earn well. The trade link is only a pomp and show and it will not benefit the people of Uri in anyway," said Mohammed Shafi, a trader of the district.
India's exports to Pakistan in 2004 and 2005 jumped to 76 per cent to 505.44 million dollars from 286 million dollars in 2003 and 2004.
Imports from Pakistan during the same period rose to 65 per cent to 95.33 million dollars from 57.74 million dollars a year ago.