MUZAFFARABAD: A meeting between officials from both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) failed to end the 11-day standoff over intra-Kashmir travel and trade on Monday.
The 90-minute meeting was held at the Chakothi-Uri crossing point, 60km off here. The Azad Jammu Kashmir side was led by Travel and Trade Authority Director General retired Brig Mohammad Ismail. Names of the officials from India-held Kashmir could not be known.
While the AJK team reiterated its demand for return of all 49 drivers held by Indian authorities, including the one who has been booked on the charge of drug trafficking, the Indians refused to meet the demand.
Mr Ismail said they also sought findings of the investigations conducted by the Indian agencies into the alleged drug transportation, including the evidence to establish the driver’s involvement, but no “solid proof” was shared.
Instead, he added, the Indian officials reiterated their earlier stance that their law did not allow them to free a person found in possession of contraband items.
Mr Ismail said the Indians could not also provide a laboratory report about the contraband item they were referring to as brown sugar (heroin).
Another meeting is likely to be held on Jan 30.
Due to the standoff, 49 truckers from AJK and 27 from India-held Kashmir have been stuck up on each side of the LoC. Besides, 55 passengers have also been stranded as trans-LoC travel also remained suspended.
Meanwhile, Ajaz Ahmed Meer, senior vice president of the LoC Trade Union in AJK, has called upon India and Pakistan to immediately end the deadlock for the benefit of stranded passengers, drivers and traders.