Pakistan has decided to restore trade across the Line of Control (LoC) because it benefits Kashmiris and facilitates their interaction, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said on Thursday.

Responding to questions at the weekly media briefing, she said Pakistan decided not to be the one creating any impediment. “We do hope that similar gestures will be visible from the other side. Now, it is up to the local authorities to decide how they want to proceed with this.”

Ms. Aslam said that simultaneously India proposed a meeting of the Joint Working Group on Cross LoC CBMs (confidence-building measures). It was likely to take place in Delhi after February 22 or 23.

The stand-off started January 17 when Indian authorities recovered 114 packets of brown sugar hidden in almond bags from a truck that had come from Muzaffarabad to the Salamabad trade facilitation centre in Baramulla district of north Kashmir. The police detained the driver and his vehicle after filing a First Information Report.

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