Cross-border trade between India and Pakistan will resume on Monday (August 08) after week-long unrest over alleged election rigging in Pakistan-administered-Kashmir, traders’ body said on Friday (August 05).
The trade route between Poonch in India and Rawalkot in Pakistan was closed after protests erupted in Muzaffarabad and other parts of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) over the July 21 elections.
“We initially thought that the trade was suspended for two weeks due to elections but when it continued longer than that, I spoke to the president (trade association) of the other side and he told me that there were certain misunderstandings between the two parties over the elections. It was because of the political skirmishes that the trade had been suspended,” said traders’ union president, Poonch, Pawan Anand.
People in Pakistan’s Kashmir alleged that genuine voters were not allowed to cast their votes and the country’s intelligence services rigged the polls in favour of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s party. Violent protests followed the election results, crippling normal life in the region.
However, traders in India’s Kashmir were hopeful that the two sides will trade smoothly once movement of goods resumed on Monday (August 08).
“The trade was suspended due to elections and other issues related to AJK. I feel that it was because of the election that they had suspended the trade. It would resume from Monday (August 08),” said a trader, Mohammad Asam.
The cross Line of Control (LoC) trade, which started in 2008, has often been suspended due to animosity between India and Kashmir.