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Come hail or surgical strike, it is business as usual in Kashmir

On Monday evening, Indian Army troops — in a tit-for-tat action — crossed the LoC and killed three Pakistani army men and injuring another in Rawalakote sector.

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Skirmishes on the borders notwithstanding, it is business as usual for the Cross-Line of Control (LoC) trade at Chakan da Bagh crossing on the Poonch-Rawalakote Road.

Tension had gripped the LoC after four Army soldiers, including a Major, were killed when Pakistan violated cease fire on Saturday. On Monday evening, Indian Army troops — in a tit-for-tat action — crossed the LoC and killed three Pakistani army men and injuring another in Rawalakote sector.

However, escalating tensions between two rival armies have failed to dampen the spirit of Cross LoC trade on the Poonch-Rawalakote Road in Jammu and Kashmir. 

For the second day on Wednesday, the Cross-LoC trade continued uninterrupted on the Poonch-Rawalakote Road despite tensions on borders. 

“On Tuesday, 30 trucks from our side crossed the Chakan da Bagh crossing into Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. Around 19 trucks came from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). On Wednesday, 25 trucks carrying banana and tomato crossed into PoK and 12 trucks carrying kinnow and dry dates came from the other side,” said Tanveer Ahmad, Custodian, Trade Facilitation Centre (TFC) Chakan da Bagh.

It is after a long time that border tension has not cast its shadows on the cross LoC trade. This year the trade on Poonch-Rawalakote Road was suspended for four months due to the cross border shelling. Cross LoC trade is carried out for four days in a week from Tuesday while as every Monday cross LoC peace bus plies on the two routes in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Our trade was suspended for four months due to the cross-border shelling. This time, however, the trade is smooth and there is no impact (of recent escalation),” said Tanveer.

Started in October 2008, Cross-LoC trade was considered as a confidence building measure (CBM) between India and Pakistan. However, the trade could not grow beyond barter system due to lack of proper banking and communication facilities that only added to the woes of the traders.

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