MUZAFFARABAD: After remaining suspended for almost three months, the intra-Kashmir trade through the Chakothi-Uri crossing point resumed on Tuesday as 13 trucks ferried trade items across the Line of Control (LoC).

The trade was closed on July 1 owing to the festivities of Eidul Fitr, but could not be resumed after the situation in India-held Kashmir turned worse in the wake of the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani on July 8.

Apart from the Chakothi-Uri crossing point, trans-LoC trade and travel is also done through the Tetrinote-Cha­kan da Bagh crossing point in Poonch.

Trade also remained suspended at the Tetrinote-Chakan da Bagh crossing point for a limited time due to the situation in held Kashmir, but it was resumed, though intermittently, after some time.

On Aug 24, one trade items-laden vehicle at Chakothi terminal and around eight vehicles at the Salamabad (Uri) terminal were scanned to be sent to the opposite sides on the following day.

However, the same evening, some Islamabad-based APHC (All Parties Hurriyat Conference) leaders as well as some local Kashmiri activists held a demonstration here at the starting point of Muzaffarabad-Sriangar highway against the resumption of trade, due to which transportation of goods was put on hold.

Last week traders from both sides conveyed to their respective authorities their willingness for resumption of the process, Ajaz Ahmed Meer, a trader, told Dawn.

However, authorities in held Kashmir told them that they were not prepared to resume trade before Sept 27.

It was under that mutual understanding that 12 vehicles brought spices and cloth decorated with embroidery designs while one vehicle from AJK also ferried embroidered cloth across on Tuesday.

Sources said that more vehicles would transport goods over the next three days.

Published in Dawn, September 28th, 2016

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