Pak envoy summoned over LoC trade halt

The Ministry of External Affairs on Tuesday summoned Pakistan’s acting High Commissioner in New Delhi, Mansoor Ahmed, and lodged a strong protest against Islamabad’s recent action to detain trucks from India, thus halting trade across the Line of Control (LoC).

New Delhi also expressed surprise over Islamabad’s move to halt the cross-LoC trade and bus-services just to get a Pakistani narcotics trafficker arrested in India released.

The authorities in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir have detained 27 trucks from India, along with the drivers, at Chakoti across the LoC since Friday.

Pakistani authorities detained the vehicles from India, after a truck coming from the PoK was impounded by Indian authorities on the Jammu and Kashmir side of the LoC for carrying 114 packets of narcotics valued at Rs 100 crore in international market. The driver of the Pakistani vehicle was also arrested. Two others were also arrested as they were to receive the illegal consignment.

Official sources said that the Pakistani authorities also indicated that they would not allow the Srinagar-Muzzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalakote bus services to run their regular services till the impounded truck and arrested driver were released by the authorities in India.

“While the two Foreign Ministries are working towards resolving the matter through diplomatic channels it is indeed surprising that Pakistan chose to hold hostage trans-LoC trade and travel, which have been bringing immense humanitarian benefits to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, for the sake of persons indulging in drug trafficking,” said official spokesperson of the MEA, Syed Akbaruddin.

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