Srinagar, Nov 11 : Facing difficulties in banking arrangements and contact with traders across the border, besides lack of communication facilities, the fruit growers and traders in the Kashmir Valley today decided not to send any new consignments across the Line of Control (LoC), reported satribune.com
Telephone links between the two sides had been jammed by authorities here to obstruct communication channels of separatist guerrillas across the LoC, said the report.
The fruit traders complained about uncertainties of the fruit boxes they had already sent to Muzaffarabad. "We have no knowledge about what happened to the 7000 boxes of fruit we have already sent to Muzaffarabad since the LoC trade began Oct 21," Farooq Ahmad Malik, president of the Valley's fruit buyers' association, said.
Malik added: "The fruit consignments amount to Rs.3.5 million (Rs.35 lakh) and we don't even know whether these have been sold at all or not."
The traders decided not to resume the cross-LoC trade unless the Indian government allowed a delegation of fruit traders to visit Muzaffarabad and work out modalities with their counterparts there. The traders and growers also demanded of the Indian government to allow telephone facilities between the Valley and Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).
Malik said: "At the moment, we only have access to traders in Muzaffarabad through the Internet, but this facility is not available to everyone. 'Trade without a telephone link is unimaginable anywhere in the world today."
After nearly 60 years, the two countries had resumed border trade on Oct 21 with trucks loaded with good like spices, apples, walnuts and carpets rolling across the de-facto border from both sides.
The cross-LoC trade on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawlakote routes began for the first time since 1948, when commercial ties snapped following the India-Pakistan war a year after the bloody partition of the subcontinent.