- Background Cross LoC Trade
On 21 October 2008 trade across LoC (Line of Control) was allowed by the Governments of India and Pakistan. The initiative being part of potent means of confidence building, establishment of peace, goodwill in the region and promotion of trade, commerce and industry in the erstwhile state of J&K on both sides of LoC.
The trade was decided to be of barter in nature by both the countries and was allowed on designated at two Uri-Muzaffarabad and Poonch-Rawalakot route (Uri falls in Kashmir division and Poonch is in Jammu division of India-administered Jammu and Kashmir (IAJ&K), Muzzafarabad and Rawalakot are part of Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK)) were designated as points of trade from each side.
LoC (Line of Control) trade initiative has been initiated as Kashmir focused confidence-building measure (CBM) and is 2nd such measure after cross LoC bus service started in April 2005. Leadership of both India and Pakistan decided to have such an initiative where people would engage with each other and created a space for engagement for the people of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir across the LoC through Trade and Travel.
The engagements of people with people and increase in the stake of the stakeholders of trade has brought peace in the LoC areas where people got benefited by getting involved in the trade and traveling across LoC.
Since its inception an average upsurge in trade with respect to volume and value is being noticed and the trade has continued despite recent increased tension between two countries.
Over the period of 8 years of trade substantial number of traders, transporters and laborers have got engaged in the process of trade and the increased stake of these stakeholders is keeping the trade active despite some challenges.
In recent years, the term LoC has often been touted as ‘Line of Commerce’ and even ‘Line of Cooperation.’