Indo-Pak JWG may meet to discuss launch of CBMs

 Confidence Building Measures including enhanced trade through the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir will be on the agenda of the India-Pakistan Joint Working Group(JWG) when it meets, a move that comes after the two countries agreed to re-engage.

PTI| Updated: Jul 13, 2015, 20:13 PM IST

New Delhi: Confidence Building Measures including enhanced trade through the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir will be on the agenda of the India-Pakistan Joint Working Group(JWG) when it meets, a move that comes after the two countries agreed to re-engage.

Official sources said today that a meeting of JWG, which has not been held since March 2014, is the next step forward after the meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in the Rusian city of Ufa last Friday.

"Since there will be meeting of NSAs and DGs of border guarding force as agreed by the two Prime Ministers, JWG meeting is definitely going to happen. CBMs will certainly be on the agenda of the JWG," a source said.

There have been demands from traders of J and K and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir(PoK) to increase the number of items being traded at two cross Line of Control (LOC) trade points -- Uri and Poonch-Rawalakote. There have been also demands for opening up of more trade points too.

"Currently 21 items are being traded at the two points. The number of items could be doubled and trading points may also be increased," the sources said.

There is no proper banking facility for the traders of the divided Kashmir and only the barter system is in place now. India wants to put in place a proper banking facility at the trade posts.

At present, 200 trucks of each side are allowed to go to the other side with trade items in four days every week. There is a need to increase the number of trucks as well as trading days, the sources said.

Infrastructure in the trade points are not adequate and hence both traders as well as officials face lots of difficulties during the trade.

"We want to install full body scanner for trucks. Tenders have already been floated and we hope that work will start soon," the sources added.