India, Pakistan agree to release detained trucks
New Delhi: India and Pakistan on Wednesday agreed to release trucks detained in their respective territories, ending a three week standoff triggered by seizure of a truck in Jammu and Kashmir coming from across the border for allegedly carrying brown sugar worth Rs 100 crore.
The matter was taken by with the Pakistani authorities after the talks between administration of PoK and Deputy Commissioner of Baramulla failed to resolve it.
Finally, after intense negotiations between the two sides at diplomatic and other levels, the deadlock ended with an agreement that the detained trucks will cross back to their respective territories.
However, resumption of cross-LoC trade, which was suspended on January 17, remains uncertain.
On January 17, Jammu and Kashmir police arrested a truck driver from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and seized his vehicle on the ground that it was ferrying contraband worth Rs 100 crore.
As many as 114 packets of brown sugar were recovered from the truck from PoK. The total weight of the seized contraband was around 100 kgs which is worth nearly Rs. 100 crore in the international market, Govind Ratan, Sub-Divisional Police Officer of Uri in North Kashmir had said.
Based on the interrogation of the driver, two more persons were arrested from Bandipore.
As the news about the arrest spread, authorities in PoK detained 27 Indian trucks along with their drivers and closed the gate thus preventing their own 48 PoK trucks to return.
The 48 trucks will also now return to PoK.
Indian officials had claimed that it had allowed these trucks to return but PoK authorities refused to take them back demanding that the seized truck, allegedly carrying narcotics, be also allowed to return.
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