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'Regressive': Mehbooba, Omar flay govt decision on cross-LoC trade


Srinagar, Apr 19: The central government's decision to suspend trade across the Line of Control with Pakistan-occupied Kashmir has met with criticism, with Kashmir-based opposition parties alleging that the move would only worsen relations with the neighbouring country.

File photo of Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti

Former chief minister Omar Abdullah said, "All these years, we have been pressing for a whole-body truck scanner. Instead of going for that, they have shut down the trade completely".

He said the cross-LoC trade was a legacy of former prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and was carried forward by his successor Manmohan Singh.

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti alleged that the BJP was using Kashmir as a "scapegoat" to make electoral gains.

"Using Kashmir as a scapegoat to claw its way back to power won't help BJP. It's an excuse to worsen ties with Pak despite their peace overtures. By doing this, PM Modi has dismantled a CBM initiated by Vajpayeeji. Won't be surprised if an attack on Pak is in the offing," Mehbooba Mufti tweeted.

India has suspended the trade across the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan from Friday after probe agencies found the route was being "misused" by elements from the neighbouring country to smuggle illegal weapons, drugs and fake currency, a government order said on Thursday.

"Meanwhile, a stricter regulatory and enforcement mechanism is being worked out and will be put in place in consultation with various agencies. The issue of reopening of LoC trade will be revisited thereafter," the government said in the statement.

The measure has been taken in the backdrop of the Pulwama terror attack following which India stepped up its military and strategic offensive against Pakistan and also withdrew the most favoured nation (MFN) from its neighbour.

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