'Open Attari-Wagah land route for trade' : The Tribune India

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'Open Attari-Wagah land route for trade'

'Open Attari-Wagah land route for trade'

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Tribune News Service

PK Jaiswar

Amritsar, September 17

The demand for opening of trade with Pakistan through the Attari-Wagah joint check-post is getting shriller with various farmer organisations under the banner of United Kisan Morcha mobilising peasants, farm labourer unions and other allied organisations in this regard.

The Kirti Kisan Union is also organising a major rally at Attari on Monday for raising the demand.

“Declining income, rising cost of agricultural inputs and mounting debt burden have pushed the farming community in Punjab into a serious crisis for the past several decades. Unfortunately, the Central and state governments have failed to take adequate measures to address the problem,” said Rattan Singh Randhawa, a senior farm leader while addressing the gathering at Jauns Mohar village in Ajnala.

The direct trade between India and other Central Asian countries through land routes with Pakistan, including the Attari-Wagah joint check-post (JCP), can be a major boost to the development of Punjab and other north-western states. Besides generating huge employment opportunities in a direct or indirect manner, it is also the shortest trade route for reaching the West and Central Asian countries for import and export of goods. But unfortunately, this border was closed for long thereby adversely affecting the economy and employment of the region, especially Punjab, another senior farmer leader Dr Satnam Singh Ajnala pointed out. Various farmer leaders opined that the Central Government must open trade with neighbouring countries to save the youth and peasantry from a serious crisis.

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