Islamabad told not to hold the vital CBM hostage for the sake of arrest of a person

Pakistan is very keen that trade across the Line of Control (LoC) takes place smoothly and summoned an Indian High Commission official on Tuesday essentially in an effort to resolve the deadlock said Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Tasnim Aslam.

Responding to questions at the weekly media briefing on Thursday, Ms. Aslam said that a demarche was handed over to him on Tuesday raising concerns over the detention of a truck driver along with whom 48 others were also stopped on the other side.

On Wednesday the Indian High Commissioner met the Foreign Secretary and among other things, this was also discussed. Both sides are of the view that this issue should resolved at the earliest, she said. She clarified that the truck drivers from the Indian occupied Kashmir side had not been arrested. They were only stopped on this side and 49 Trucks from Azad Jammu and Kashmir detained on the other side.

Ms. Aslam said the exact dates of the visit by the Indian Commerce Minister were not yet finalised. “A number of issues relating to commerce, trade and creating an environment in which trade can flow from both sides on equal footing will be under discussion,” she added.

Meanwhile India on Thursday said it asked Islamabad not to hold this vital confidence building measure (CBM) hostage for the sake of a person accused of drug trafficking. “The governments are in communication but we wish to clarify that there is no modality that exempts a person alleged to be involved in a criminal activity from facing the full force of Indian law. The spirit of CBMs on trans-LoC trade and travel is to bring about humanitarian benefits to the people of J&K. To us it is surprising that these CBMs have been chosen by Pakistan to be held hostage for the sake of persons indulging in drug trafficking,” MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin told journalists.