Home Secy to visit J&K ahead of Indo-Pak talks
New Delhi: Ahead of Indo-Pak Home Secretary- level talks later this month, Home Secretary RK Singh will visit Jammu and Kashmir this week to have a first-hand assessment of problems being faced by businessmen in cross-LoC trade.
The visit comes close on the heels of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah flagging the problems being faced by traders in cross-LoC at an internal security conference chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last month.
While Omar had termed cross-border trade as a major confidence building measure between India and Pakistan, he had favoured end of barter practice and suggested opening of normal banking channels.
According to official sources, Singh, whose visit scheduled last month was postponed, will be travelling to Kashmir first on May 16.
He will visit Salamabad in Uri in North Kashmir, see the arrangements and talk to some of the trade unions in a bid to firm up the stand on modalities for establishing banking relations for businessmen.
India has been proposing to Pakistan for opening of banking channels to encourage more trade between the two parts of Kashmir.
On Omar's plea to the Centre, the Home Secretary will also hold talks with the state authorities for having a telephone link between the two parts of Kashmir for encouraging trade relations which started in 2008, the sources said.