Provide Banking Facilities for Cross LOC Trade, Mufti to Centre

Srinagar: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammed Sayeed recalled expanding the scope of trans LOC trade and provide banking facilities to the traders. Welcoming the decision by India and Pakistan to exchange banking facilities to provide trade between the two countries. He said in a statement here that Jammu & Kashmir could not be kept away from such inter banking facilities.

He said the initiative should ideally start from Jammu & Kashmir and called upon the Union Government to allow J&K Bank to open branches in Pak administered Kashmir so that the present barter system in LOC trade is replaced with proper monetary exchange. He said Jammu & Kashmir has a potential of becoming the first model for a free trade zone in South Asia because of its strategic location.

Expressing anguish at the tardy pace of implementation of new Confidence Building Measures (CBM’s) announced by the foreign ministers of the two countries Mufti said the delay effects the credibility of the announcement. He said if implemented earnestly these CBM’s could prove important in finding a permanent resolution of Jammu & Kashmir problem.

The PDP patron said the LOC trade had a vast potential of growth and so had the travel between the two parts of the erstwhile state. He said the hassle free trade and travel could do a great extent neutralize the negative effects of partition on our state which was a hub of international trade before 1947 but has been reduced to dead end.