Srinagar, May 30 : Indian lawmakers, traders are all in favour of activating cross-border trade with Pakistan, and in this context, the former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has said that the resumption of trade with Pakistan is only a matter of time.
"The aspirations of the people on both sides are to have free trade. As there is no requirement of a visa of a passport for travelling across the India-Pakistan border. Similarly, as far as trade is concerned, there should be free trade. The process might be slow, but there is no going back on this," he said.
Trade said they are eagerly awaiting the resumption of trade and hoped the two governments would take early initiatives.
"A list of 46 items has been given to the Government of India. The government will consider it and then forward it to the Government of Pakistan, which has to approve it. So, we don't know what shape it will finally take. Secondly, the modalities of trade are not yet fixed," said Shakeel Qalandar, the president of the Jammu and Kashmir Federation of Industry and Commerce.
India and Pakistan decided to introduce a truck service in 2005 on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad Road. A bus service is already plying on the same route.
India has forwarded a list of 14 items to Pakistan, and Islamabad has accepted that trade can take place in seven of them - Kashmiri carpets, saffron, rugs, shawls, fruits, flowers and silk products.
The Indian side of Kashmir currently exports horticultural items worth Rs.20 billion, and carpets and other handicrafts worth another Rs.7 billion.