Pakistan deplores India’s unilateral suspension of cross-LoC Trade

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ISLAMABAD, Apr 21 (APP):Pakistan’s foreign office Sunday expressed disappointment over India’s decision to suspend cross-Line of Control trade, and rejected Indian allegations regarding its misuse.

“The Indian action is based on groundless accusations that this mechanism is being used for smuggling, narcotics, fake currency and ‘terrorism’. This litany is all too familiar and in line with India’s frequent attempts to portray legitimate activities of the people in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir as linked to so-called terrorism,” the foreign office said in a statement.

The trade remained as one of the functional Confidence-Building Measures (CBMs) between the two countries, which came about after arduous diplomatic efforts, the foreign office said, adding that India’s unilateral suspension of the Kashmir-related CBM indicated that India is seeking to reverse even the modest gains made by the two countries in the diplomatic domain.

The suspension of the cross-LoC without consulting Pakistan is deeply regrettable, the foreign office added.

“Suspension of cross-LoC trade adds to the economic hardship of the divided Kashmiris and further squeezes the segment of people who could modestly benefit from this facility. In our view, there are better ways of dealing with issues relating to implementation, if any, than resorting to unilateral suspension of important CBMs.”

Talking about Pakistan’s action following Indian action, the foreign office said Pakistan will continue to work for facilitation and enhanced economic interaction among the Kashmiri people, who remain the victims of the situation arising from unresolved nature of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

Pakistan also urged India to refrain from taking unilateral measures and resolve differences through constructive engagement with a view to transitioning from conflict to cooperation.