Tuesday, January 21, 2014


A Pakistani driver arrested by Indian authorities in connection with alleged smuggling of narcotics worth Rs 100 crore  at LOC.


Also please read this editorial from a leading J &K English daily.


It is the second time that drugs have been seized from truckers at Salamabad point of LoC. A truck coming from PoK was detained by the police at the Salamabad Trade Facilitation Centre, Uri and 114 kilograms of narcotics were recovered from it. Obviously the truck was detained and the driver taken into custody. In August 2008 the police had recovered from a truck going from our side to PoK ten crore rupees worth cocaine. This was supposed to be delivered to the militant organization in PoK who would tranship it further to markets.  The simple inference that one can draw from it is that the trans-LoC trade is being misused for transhipment of drugs and narcotics. There are agencies on both sides who are involved in this clandestine trade. Apart from authorities, it is the Chamber of Commerce on either side that should be much worried about the misuse of trade.
The objective behind opening trans-LoC trade at two points in J&K was to lend support to confidence building measures. But the way things are being misused the very purpose of the programme is defeated. We can express regret that this clandestine exercise is being undertaken on both sides. It is detrimental to both countries, India and Pakistan and none should be happy with this kind of situation. It has to be reminded that when talks were going on for opening trading points along the LoC, critics had at that time raised the apprehensions that the facility might be misused. But those who were responsible for regulating the trade gave ample assurances that nothing of clandestine activity would be allowed. How come that this deviation and floundering of rules and regulations has happened.
We believe that no higher ups are involved in the exercise. We also believe that Pakistan is seriously interested in promoting good relations with India and exchange of trade and commerce is a very important measure. Only two days back trade delegations of two countries have met and talked in New Delhi. They have exuded confidence that there could be good scope of expanding trade. This has sent a good and satisfying message to the trading community on both sides of the dividing line. But incidents like the one certainly do much damage to the peace talks.
We would not like that this incident should become a stone wall between the two countries and trade should not come to a standstill. As we know it remained suspended for so many months after the clashes on the border between the security forces. It is with great patience and effort that the two countries have resumed talks. Therefore incidents like this should not be allowed to become a major obstruction. But at the same time, it is important that authorities on both sides of the line become more alert and take extraordinary care that such attempts are thwarted. In particular, we have reason to condemn this clandestine drug trade because the terrorist organizations feeling the sting of cash deficit are using many ways to replenish their financial status. They want to fuel insurgency through money earned clandestinely. That is what we cannot accept. Therefore the culprits should be dealt with in accordance with the law of the land and no sympathy should be shown to them. That is of much importance to deter others following suit.
It is also important that the arrested driver and the person for whom the consignment was meant in Kashmir are thoroughly subjected to interrogation. The trail of this activity should be traced to the last man and a report of the same should be forwarded to Pakistani authorities. The two sides can also meet to discuss this important issue and jointly try to find the ways and means to plug this practice. For quite some time reports have been coming that drug addiction is on the rise in Kashmir. Many youth are reported to have become addicts. From that point also, it is important that authorities mount vigil on the LoC and elsewhere and nip the evil in the bud.

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