Cross border trade, travel remains suspended in Kashmir

Chakan Da Bagh (Poonch, J-K), Jan.26 (ANI): Cross border trade and travel between India and Pakistan through Chakan Da Bagh continues to remain suspended in the wake of the recent ceasefire violation by Pakistan.

In a recent exchange of fire in Jammu and Kashmir, two Indian soldiers were killed, but both nations appeared determined to prevent the clash escalating into a full diplomatic or military crisis.

The body of one of the soldiers was found mutilated in a forested area on the side controlled by India. It had been decapitated and the body of an another had a throat slit.

District Development Commissioner (Poonch) Ajit Kumar Sahu said: "We have taken up the matter of permit extension of the stranded passengers and many of them have received the extended permits."

Pakistan had dismissed the Indian allegations as propaganda and instead accused New Delhi of violating the ceasefire in Kashmir, which has been the cause of two of three wars between the two neighbours.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars since their independence in 1947, two of them over the Himalayan region of Kashmir.

Sahu further said: "Trade and travel suspension is a national issue on which government of both sides is working and India government is serious about the matter. Steps are being taken in this regard and the state government is also working at its level. So, as soon as we will receive any message we are ready to restore trade and travel."

India considers the entire Kashmir region as an integral part of its territory, whereas Muslim-dominant Pakistan contests that and demands implementation of a 1948 UN Security Council resolution for a plebiscite to determine the wishes of the mostly Muslim people of Kashmir.

Firing and small skirmishes are common along the 740-kilometer (460-mile) LoC despite a ceasefire that was agreed to in November 2003. (ANI)

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