M A I N   N E W S

Pak suspends trans-LoC trade
Doesn’t open gates for Indian trucks y India says won’t act in haste
Tribune News Service

Indian statements contradictory: Pak
Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Thursday said she hoped that the recent incidents on the Line of Control (LoC) would not affect the dialogue that has been underway between India and Pakistan. Khar claimed there were contradictions in statements of Indian officials with regard to these incidents. She said the Pakistani media had played a positive role in the matter and showed restraint.

New Delhi/ Jammu, January 10
India believes that any hasty step on its part in the wake of the killing of two Indian soldiers by Pakistani troops would not only hurt the nascent dialogue process but also weaken the civilian regime in Islamabad. The Pakistan Government, on the other hand, continued its aggressive stance and suspended the trans-LoC trade from the Poonch-Rawalkote route and also refused to respond to hotline messages from the Indian side.

New Delhi obviously does not want to do anything that would embolden the Pakistan Army, which has traditionally considered India as Enemy No 1.

Top government sources today said this was not the first time such an incident had taken place along the Line of Control (LoC) between the two countries. Border skirmishes have taken place from time to time. What, however, has outraged Delhi is the brutality of the incident in which one of the two soldiers was beheaded.

But India is prepared to give time to Pakistan to act against those responsible for the incident. “Instead of shouting, we should give them (Pakistan) time to take action,” sources said.

The Pakistani Army on Thursday refused to allow trucks from India carrying goods to cross the Line of Control trade point in Poonch district. Trucks laden with Indian goods remained stranded near the Chakkan-da-Bagh crossing point with Indian traders complaining that they would suffer huge losses as a result of the Pakistani action.

“Since cross-LoC trade is not international trade, there are certain issues which are to be sorted by mutual agreements between the two sides. The barbaric killing seems to have put Pakistan on the back foot and this could be the sole reason for Pakistan to suspend the trade with India,” sources said.

“They (Pakistan) didn’t respond to our hotline messages and kept their gates closed for goods-laden trucks from this side of the LoC when our truckers headed towards crossing point after completing all formalities,” Abdul Hamid Sheikh, Custodian of the trans-LoC trade and travel told The Tribune.

In New Delhi, National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon rejected Pakistan’s suggestion that the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) be asked to probe the recent ceasefire violations on the LoC.





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