Government spokesman regrets strike calls in Kashmir

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Srinagar, Oct 10 (UNI) A spokesman for the Jammu and Kashmir government today regretted calls for protest and strike given by some ''elements'' at a time when trade activity in the Kashmir valley was picking up and cross-Line of Control (LoC) trade is about to take off.

In a statement here this afternoon, he said strikes and disruption to peace is not in the interest of the people and trade activities in Kashmir.

He said at a time when the governments of India and Pakistan have through concerted efforts made the cross-LoC trade a reality, such strike and protest will hamper the movement forward and give a jolt to economic activities.

A trade delegation from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) was in town to negotiate with their counterparts here to start the trade from October 21.

He said people of the state have already suffered immensely due to agitation and frequent bandh calls.

Referring to commissioning of the 450 MW Baglihar Hydroelectric Power Poject and first train in Kashmir valley, the spokesman said the state is going through an unprecedented phase of economic development.

He said any effort to slow it down through frequent uncalled-for bandhs and agitations would be unfair and against the interests of the people of the state.

UNI BAS RL NS1702

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