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Trade activity suspended at LoC after alleged drug haul

MUZAFFARABAD: Trade activity through the Chakothi sector remained suspended for the second day on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) on Saturday after Indian authorities allegedly seized drugs from a truck carrying oranges on the Muzaffarabad-Srinagar road.

Cross border trade came to a halt at LoC after Indian authorities impounded 22 trucks carrying trading goods from Pakistan. Indian authorities claim that heroin was being smuggled in the trucks carrying boxes of oranges.
Whereas the Azad Kashmir Trade and Travel Authority (Tata) also declined to return 50 trucks coming from India through Kashmir.
Tata officials confirmed the intra-Kashmir trade embargo and claimed that under the agreement between the two countries, authorities in India-held Kashmir are obliged to return the trucks carrying trading merchandise.
Officials further said that until and unless Indian authorities provide evidence with regards to the drug smuggling allegation and return the 22 seized trucks, the 50 trucks held by them will not be permitted to return.
DG Azad Jammu and Kashmir LoC Trade and Travel Authority Brig Rt Imtiaz said that the incident has been brought to the notice of Pakistan's External Ministry and media will be apprised of the latest developments upon the ministry’s advice.
A similar standoff had occurred last year in January, due to which 49 truckers from AJK and 27 from India-held Kashmir had remained stuck up on each side of the LoC.

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