Srinagar, Jul 20: Demanding free movement of people and goods between Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the concept of closed border was vanishing at a very fast pace.
PDP senior leader and former Finance minister Tariq Hamid Qarra said given the changing connotations of sovereignty across the globe, there was a dire need for a porous border in the state for the free movement of people and goods. Addressing a meeting of members of district committee and zonal committee of Srinagar district at party headquarters here, Mr Qarra said, the concept of closed border was fading swiftly. ''Now, when the Srinagar-Muzzaffarabad bus service is available, trucks should start plying on this road for trade ties across the border'', he said.
Mr Qarra said the truck service will provide an alternative market to the farmers and fruit growers of the state.
''During the Srinagar-Jammu highway blockade, this service will ensure smooth import and export of goods to and from the areas across the border,'' he said.
The process of economic integration of the two parts of Jammu and Kashmir could start with ''Preferential Trade Agreement'', he said and added that in that agreement, India and Pakistan would offer tariff reductions, though perhaps not eliminations, confined to the geographical boundaries of the state on both sides of Line of Control (LoC).
''This can be followed by a common market with free trade in goods and services, set common external tariffs and also free mobility of capital and labour across the countries with Jammu and Kashmir being the hub of this activity,'' he observed.