M A I N   N E W S

LoC standoff over, truckers back home
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, February 12
The standoff on the cross-LoC trade spanning nearly four weeks between India and Pakistan ended today after the two sides exchanged the stranded drivers and allowed the detained vehicles to cross over.

The Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) driver, Mohammad Shafiq Awan, who was arrested while smuggling narcotic substances on January 17 triggering the standoff, continues to be under detention.

With the exchange of drivers, the two sides are likely to resume the stalled cross-LoC trade next week.

The official sources said the exchange of 48 truckers from Pakistani occupied Kashmir (PoK) and their vehicles, stranded at Salamabad in Uri, and 27 drivers from Kashmir and their trucks detained on the other side, took place through Aman Setu (peace bridge) connecting the two sides in the Uri sector on Wednesday evening in the presence of senior officials from both the sides.

“The issue of exchanging the stranded drivers and trucks was resolved by the foreign offices of the two countries,” said a senior official. “The two sides have also decided to resume the cross-border trade. This is likely to begin from next week,” he added.

Baramulla Deputy Commissioner Ghulam Ahmad Khwaja said the 48 PoK trucks were dispatched from Salamabad towards Aman Setu in Uri at around 5 pm. “We dispatched trucks from the Trade Facilitation Officer (TFO), Salamabad, towards Aman Setu after the completion of modalities between the two sides,” said Khwaja.

PoK driver remains in custody

  • PoK driver, who was arrested while smuggling narcotic substances on Jan 17, continues to be under detention
  • The two sides have agreed that the driver would face the due process of law.
  • During a probe, it was found that the driver was not aware that drugs were being smuggled through his truck
  • The drugs were to be unloaded in Amritsar.





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