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Discussion and Analysis of the LoC-trade: major issues and challenges

Participants: Sardar Kazeem Khan, President of cross-LoC Traders’ Federation and Trade analyst, Mr Qaiser Khan
Host: Mr Haris Qadeer, FM Voice of Kashmir FM, Rawalakot.
Date: 31st March 2019

In order to highlight the problems faced by the traders associated with the cross-LoC trade the Voice of Kashmir FM radio, Rawalakot conducted an interview about the ongoing issues and challenges encountered by trader community across the Line of Control. While talking to journalist Haris Qadeer President of Cross-LoC Traders’ Federation, Sardar Kazeem Khan and Qaiser Khan, a trade analyst, spoke on different technical and policy issues.

The trade between two parts of the divided Jammu and Kashmir started almost a decade ago. Since its inception, the trade has been through many alternating periods of upheaval and stagnancy.  However, it fully served the purpose of connecting people and markets across the divide. The speakers, while answering questions regarding the economic potential of cross-LoC trade, shared with the listeners that goods worth one billion dollar have been traded so far in the last decade despite the fact that a number of trade items have gradually decreased from twenty one in 2008 to almost five in 2019.

Sardar Kazeem Khan also mentioned that the problems like unavailability of full body scanners at the trading points, the lack of indigenous markets in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and the uncooperative attitude of the government authorities are major reasons behind the gradual downfall in the trade activity.

Qaiser Khan explained the issues pertaining to the policymaking level and shared with the audience that a systematic campaign has been launched against the cross-LoC trade to defame it.  

The interview is another knock at the door of authorities to resolve the issues faced by LoC traders on immediate basis.  Besides highlighting the problems, their possible solutions were also proposed by Sardar Kazeem in this talk.

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