'No change in first consignment across LoC'

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Chakan Da Bagh, JK, Oct 20: As a goodwill gesture, the traders of Jammu and Kashmir will dispatch all items across the border free of cost when the Indo-Pakistan LoC (Line of Control) trade is opened on Tuesday, Oct 21.

The traders said they felt called upon to contribute to the peace in their own way by winning over the hearts of the people in Pakistan-Administered Kashmir.

The residents and the traders have collected goods, mostly food items, to dispatch on the opening day of the cross-border trade.

"You cannot call this trade, no money would be exchanging hands. This is a mere token of love. We are sending one to two trucks laden with goods on behalf of the people of Poonch as a gift to them and we are not charging them for this. This is just to express our happiness that now trade will begin between both the sides, said Vijay Tandon, a trader.

The traders across the border are expected to reciprocate the goodwill gesture.

They said that the first consignment would be a symbol of friendship and confidence rather than symbolizing monetary benefits.

The 'free' consignment would have carpets, rugs, wall hangings, shawls and stoles, namdas (woollen mattings), embroidered items apart from pulses, black mushrooms, Kashmiri spices, honey and medicinal plants.

The trade route between India and Pakistan will open via Uri-Muzaffarabad road on October 21 to be followed by opening another route in Poonch-Rawakote section in Jammu region on October 28.

There will be a trade office at Rangar including a truck terminal, godowns, custom and immigration offices, scanning chambers with X-ray machines, weighing bridge and security posts.

Chakan-da-Bagh was opened on November 21, 2005 for providing relief to the people hit by the massive earthquake in Pakistan-administered Kashmir on October 8, 2005.


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