Bartering peace in Kashmir

7 Dec 2017 | Ameya Kilara, Contributor
A barter trade connecting people across Kashmir’s “Berlin Wall” is perilously close to being shut down. In October, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson landed in South Asia on the ninth anniversary of a rare “Berlin Wall moment” in Kashmir. In October 2008, Indian and Pakistani leaders opened up the heavily-guarded Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir for small-scale, barter trade.

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Survey on CROSS-LoC trade Launched in Muzaffarabad

Muzaffarabad: 3 May 2012
Marking the 7th anniversary of Cross LoC Bus Service by reflecting back to the April 2005, Centre for Peace Development & Reforms (CPDR) launched its recent publication titled “Peacebuilding and Economic Potential of Cross-LoC Trade” jointly produced by the Indus Research Foundation (IRF) and supported by Conciliation Resources London in Muzaffarabad. Besides, a recently produced documentary titled “A Journey Through River Vitasta” filmed by Mrs. Pawan Bali, journalist from Jammu and Mr. Muhammad Arif Urfi from Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu and Kashmir was also screened. This is the first documentary film to be shot on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC).

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JK JCCI’s Joint Press Conference in Mirpur

A joint press conference was held in Mirpur-Azad Jammu and Kashmir wherein former president of Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AJK-CCI) Mr. Zulfiqar Abbasi, President of AJK-CCI Dr. M. Akram Chaudhary, President of Bimber Chamber of Commerce and Industry Raja Muhammad Jameel, President of Kotli Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sardar Shahid Mahmood, leaders of Cross LoC Councils Sardar Kashan Masood, Mr. Khurshid Mir and Ijaz Rehmani and Executive Director CPDR Mr. Ershad Mahmud congratulated Dr. Mubeen Shah for assuming the leadership of JKJCCI and assured him full-fledge support and cooperation from AJK side. Mr. Shah also spoke from Srinagar over phone and thanked the business leaders and traders for their consistent support to make JCCI an effective body.

Electing the JKJCCI President

As per sub section [g] of section 4 of Istanbul agreement of November 28, 2011, a meeting of the members of Electoral College (constituted as sub section [e] of section 4 of the same agreement) was held on December 29, 2011 in Srinagar to elect the new president of Jammu and Kashmir Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JJCCI).

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Reorganization of Jammu and Kashmir Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry

In November 2011, Conciliation Resources organised a meeting with presidents and other elected representatives of business Chambers from all regions of erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir in Istanbul, Turkey with the support of Mr. Ershad Mahmud, Executive Director CPDR and Mr. Zafar Choudhary, senior journalist based in Jammu.

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Kicking off the debate about LoC trade

CPDR played a vital role in the triggering the debate around the cross LoC trade and travel through holding policy dialogue and bringing out publication. In February-March 2011, a book based on the discussion papers titled “Jammu and Kashmir: Trade across the Line of Control” was launched in Islamabad and Muzaffarabad. Available at: Click Here

The publication is based on discussion papers written by a group of traders, journalists and academics from both sides of Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. The study is considered as a first publication with gross root accounts of peacebuilding and economic benefits of cross-LoC trade.

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