Stand-off over demand for release of arrested Pakistani driver

The stand-off between India and Pakistan over the truckers issue entered the fourth day on Monday with the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) authorities suspending cross-LoC bus service demanding release of a Pakistani driver arrested by the Indian authorities on charges of smuggling drugs worth Rs. 100 cr.

PoK’s Director-General of Trade, a retired army officer, during a meeting with Jammu and Kashmir government officials, made a surprise claim that the driver enjoyed diplomatic immunity and should be released immediately.

Tension mounted at the Kaman post area in North Kashmir when the police on Friday detained a truck carrying 114 packets of brown sugar, valued at Rs. 100 crore in international market and arrested the driver along with two more persons from Bandipore who were to receive the consignment.

In a tit-for-tat action, authorities in PoK detained 27 Indian truck drivers and demanded the release of their driver.

The stand-off intensified when authorities in Kashmir were informed by PoK about suspension of the bus service on Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road.