Kashmir leaders want govt to provide more markets to farmers

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Srinagar, Aug 8 (UNI) Asking the Kashmir valley fruit growers to sell their products to Delhi-based traders, two former Jammu and Kashmir ministers today urged the state government to reopen the Jehlum valley and other traditional routes for the farmers to reach markets in Central and South Asia.

Former ministers for agriculture and horticulture Abdul Aziz Zargar and Mohammad Dilawar Mir respectively, said they put a proposal before the fruit merchants of Azadpur Fruit Mandi, Delhi to do the transaction in Kashmir itself as some anti-social elements were attacking Kashmiri truckers in parts of Jammu and Punjab.

''We are in business relationship with them but they should understand our problem and come forward to buy the fruits here in Kashmir on their own risk and responsibility,'' the leaders added.

They said despite deployment of army along the national highway, the ''communal forces'' were frequently attacking the Kashmiri truckers and looting their fruit loaded trucks.

They also expressed concern over the situation prevailing in the valley due to the economic blockade.

The ministers along with some senior PDP leaders in a joint statement here said the fresh fruits being perishable commodity had a very short life.

They said if not lifted immediately, the farmers would face a huge loss.

''If the same situation continues for another week, our fruit industry would perish, they said and added that the valley-based traders and fruit growers cannot be taken hostage to the blockade of Srinagar-Jammu National highway.

They said the PDP had also been demanding for long time restoration of Jehlum Valley road and other traditional routs for trade purpose to lessen the geographical as well as other risks.

The leaders said the Srinagar- Muzaffarabad road should be thrown open immediately thereby giving the Kashmiri traders different markets of the central and south Asia.

They also urged the Pakistani leadership to cooperate with India to get the routes open.


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