Srinagar: The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
patron, Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, on Friday demanded expanding the
scope of trans-Line of Control trade and providing banking
facilities to the traders.
"Jammu and Kashmir cannot be kept away from such inter
banking facilities," Sayeed said while welcoming the decision
of India and Pakistan to exchange banking facilities for trade
between the two countries.
He said the Centre should allow J&K Bank to open branches
in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) so that the present barter
system in LOC trade is replaced with proper monetary exchange.
"Jammu and Kashmir has a potential of becoming the
first model for a free trade zone in South Asia because of its
strategic location," he added.
Expressing anguish at the tardy pace of implementation
of new Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) announced by the
foreign ministers of India and Pakistan in July, Sayeed said
the delay affects the credibility of the announcement.
"If implemented earnestly, these CBMs could prove
important in finding a permanent resolution of Jammu and
Kashmir problem," he asserted.
The PDP patron said the LoC trade had vast potential of
growth and so had the travel between the two parts of the
erstwhile state as it existed before 1947.
He said the hassle-free trade and travel could to a great
extent neutralise the negative effects of partition on
our state, which was a hub of international trade before 1947
"but has been reduced to dead end".