Singh, Gilani resolve to increase cross LoC trade

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Beijing, Oct 24 (UNI) The possibility of increased trade between India and Pakistan across the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir figured prominently during a discussion between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani here today.

''We expressed happiness at the resumption of trade on the two routes in Jammu and Kashmir. We also discussed possibilities of increased trade between our two countries and the visa regime,'' Dr Singh told mediapersons about the outcome of the meeting that lasted 25 minutes on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).

Trading across the Line of Control on the Srinagar-Muzzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalkot routes in Kashmir began for the first time in six decades on Tuesday.

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) sources said both the leaders noted that terror was the common enemy of both India and Pakistan.

Dr Singh said Mr Gilani had told him about Pakistan's commitment to the success of the joint terror mechanism and assured him that they were very seriously committed to working with India to control terror.

''I had a very good meeting with Mr Gilani. We reviewed the state of our relationship.'' Dr Singh said.

Asked about the alleged violation of the Indus water treaty by India in the background of the commissioning of the first unit of the Baghliar power project over the river Chenab, he said, ''The implementation of the Indus Water Treaty in letter and substance is a commitment which we take very seriously.'' Asked if this issue would affect the peace dialogue process with Pakistan, he said, ''There is no likelihood of such issues affecting the process.'' Pakistan has alleged that stoppage of water over River Chenab has hit its agriculture sector hard.

In fact, a three-member Pakistan team arrived at the site a fortnight after Dr Singh inaugurated the Baghliar project.


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