Srinagar, Sept 30: The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron, Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, today 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”. PTI