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Pakistan-India border trade at LoC resumes

13 February, 2014

MUZAFFARABAD: Trade across the de facto border in disputed Kashmir resumed on Wednesday after being suspended for nearly a month, a Pakistani official said.

All movement including travel and trade across the Line of Control was suspended after Indian authorities detained a Pakistani truck driver for allegedly carrying 114 kilogrammes of heroin. On Wednesday 27 trucks were allowed to leave for the Indian side and 49 others cleared to come the other way, said Basharat Iqbal, an official of the Trade and Travel Authority in Azad Kashmir. "Trade will resume as routine now. However one Pakistani truck along with the driver are still held by the Indian authorities," he told AFP.

Muhammad Ismail, head of the Trade and Travel Authority, said the decision to resume border trade was taken at foreign ministerial level. Trade across the de facto border began in 2008 as part of peace efforts between the nuclear-armed neighbours, but it is frequently disrupted by disputes.

It was last suspended in September 2013 for almost six weeks over a disagreement about the origin of goods being traded. Kashmir. While confirming the resumption of trade Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said, "Decision has been taken to resume trade across Line of Control". Trade will resume after almost four-weeks-long crisis.

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