'No trade b/w Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road'

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Srinagar, May 13: Lack of response from Pakistan has delayed resumption of trade through Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road which was closed after the 1947 partition.

However, the bus service between Srinagar and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK), capital Muzaffarabad was resumed on April 8,2005. '' If Pakistan agrees, we are ready for cross-LoC trade to start tomorrow'', Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said at a public meeting at the border town of Uri, about 100 kms from here yesterday. He said because of developments in Pakistan the trade has delayed. The trucks carrying goods from either side should have started since plying between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad, he added.

He said all arrangements, including construction of godowns and customs office and double-laning of the Baramulla-Kaman Post road has been made, adding, that it is now for Pakistan to decide when it wants the cross-LoC trade to take off India has done everything that was required of her to open the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road for trade, he said adding that the ball was now in Pakistans court to let the trucks ply on the road.

Without naming anyone he said some vested interests wanted the people to believe that Pakistan is ready for the cross-LoC trade but the central and the state governments did not want it to happen.

Mr Azad said that the Pakistan government should now fulfill the wishes of the people on both sides regarding the trade through the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road.

Foreign Minister, Pranab Mukherjee will visit Pakistan later this month and discuss with his counterpart the cross-LoC trade also, he said.

He hoped that the new government in Pakistan will carry forward the dialogue process initiated by India with its predecessor government to usher the sub-continent in an era of peace and progress.


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