Pakistan must allow resumption of trans-LoC trade and travel: MEA

Ministry of External Affairs ( MEA) spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin on Tuesday demanded that the Pakistan should allow the resumption of trans-LoC travel and trade and should share information regarding smuggling of drug and narcotics.

New Delhi: Reiterating that those indulging in anti-national and criminal activities will not be given immunity, Ministry of External Affairs ( MEA) spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin on Tuesday demanded that the Pakistan should allow the resumption of trans-LoC travel and trade and should share information regarding smuggling of drug and narcotics.

On January 17, India had detained a Pakistani driver for his alleged involvement in smuggling of narcotics. Afterwards Pakistan had made it clear that they would not allow the Srinagar-Muzzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalakote bus services to run till the impounded truck and arrested driver were released.

"We regret the fact that for sake of a drug trafficker, who caught red handed smuggling narcotics to India, the Pakistani authorities have refused to allow the resumption of trans-LoC travel and trade that brings great benefit to the people of Jammu and Kashmir," said Akbaruddin.
"Over the last two weeks India has repeatedly emphasized to the Pakistan to allow full resumption of travel and trade across the LOC and to hold an immediate meeting of the trade facilitation officers at command so that both sides can exchange information with regard to narcotic seizures that have been made," he added.

Akbaruddin also demanded that the Pakistan must also share the information with regard to their investigations of the consigner of seized drugs and added that India has proposed to the Pakistan to hold a meeting of officer level Joint Working Group on trans-LoC Confidence Building Measure (CBM) in the second week of February.

Pakistan had also detained 28 truck drivers from Jammu and Kashmir who had crossed command post with their vehicles last week.

"All ambiguities which may have arisen in the interpretation of standard operating procedure must be removed immediately. There appears to be a mistake in perception that trucks and drivers plying on the trans- LoC trade route would be granted immunity from prosecution if they indulge in criminal and anti-national activities," he said.

On January 22, the Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan was summoned by India in connection with the suspension of the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad and the Rawalakot-Poonch bus services by Pak authorities.