Pak-India exchange lists of items for trade through LoC

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Srinagar, Sep7 (UNI) Pakistan and India have exchanged lists of items to be traded on both sides through Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and Poonch- Rawlakote roads, pending final agreement.

State Chief secretary S S Kapoor said Pakistan had earlier insisted on a common list but has now reportedly changed its position.

Mr Kapoor said India had forwarded to Pakistan the names of a trade delegation to visit Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) for finalising modalities of import and export of items with their counterparts. But it was not cleared by the neighbouring country so far.

''We have already cleared their proposed delegation for a visit to Jammu and Kashmir,''he said. Pakistan has agreed to send a trade delegation to Jammu and Kashmir.

India was ready to receive the delegation or send its own first, whichever was agreeable to Pakistan, he added.

Mr Kapoor said the Government would take the local Chambers of Commerce in Kashmir and Jammu on board regarding these visits so that mutually agreed dates were finalised.

He said on the second day of its two-day visit to state, the Central team comprising senior officers form the Ministries of External Affairs, Home and Finance (Department of Revenue) today held a meeting with the State Government officers on facilities being created at Chakan da Bagh for Cross-LoC trade through Poonch-Rawlakote route.

The Central team was represented by Joint Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs, Joint Secretary, Home (K) and Commissioner, Customs.

The Chief Secretary said the team visited Salamabad and Kaman Post in Uri yesterday and inspected the facilities for the cross-LoC trade via Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road.

The team reveiwed the progress on improvement and widening of the road leading to Kaman Post and expressed satisfaction over the facilities at Salamabad and the upgradation of the road.

The entire road would be metalled up to the Kaman Post in a few weeks, he added.

Mr Kapur said that facilities for the Cross-LoC trade at Salamabad would be fully in place within the next three to four weeks and additional land was being acquired for the construction of a state-of-the-art Land Custom Station there.

He said a similar facility would be set up at Chakan da Bagh in Poonch for Cross-LoC trade through Poonch_Rawlakote road.

Meanwhile, he said, a temporary Land Custom Station would be constructed to facilitate the trade across the LoC.

He said the Central team was scheduled to visit Chakan da Bagh today but due to the inclement weather the visit could not materialise.

The Chief Secretary said the Land Custom Station at Chakan da Bagh would be constructed in two phases. He said 45 kanals of land had been identified out of which 24 kanals were government land.

He said initially, temporary facilities would be erected on these 24 kanals of land while another 21 kanals would be acquired for the permanent Land Custom Station.


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