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news details
PDP Minister talks trade as Pak paints LoC red
3/19/2018 11:48:27 PM
Early Times Report
Srinagar, Mar 19: At a time when Pakistan is busy ruthlessly bombarding Jammu and Kashmir and killing innocent civilians, one PDP minister is advocating more trade with the country and opening more routes that could connect Kashmir with Pakistan.
The minister in question carries significant portfolios in Mehbooba Mufti led coalition government in the state and is also a senior voice in the party. While addressing people in summer capital on Sunday, the minister pitched for more trade and good relations with Pakistan. The statement carries significance as it has been issued at a time when the LoC has been painted red by the Pakistan army, leaving no stone unturned to unleash terror on the people of Jammu and Kashmir especially those living near to the LoC and international border.
On the same day when the minister issued the statement in Srinagar, Pakistani troops targeted border villages in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district with mortar bombs, killing five members of a family including three minor children. Two other members of the family were critically injured and were airlifted to Jammu for treatment.
The "unprovoked and indiscriminate" shelling of civilian areas almost three-four kilometres from the Line of Control (LoC) by the Pakistani troops, in violation of a ceasefire agreement, lasted from 7.45AM to 11.30AM. Interestingly, the cabinet minister of the state was asking for more trade routes at the same time.
Forgetting the terror unleashed by Pakistan, the minister stated that his party was striving hard for strengthening of trade and travel across the LoC so that the people on both sides of the divide feel empowered. He said that it was his party that turned the dream of Srinagar-Muzaffarabad trade and travel into a reality and the same way, it envisages to facilitate reopening of other routes for a better connectivity and communication between the people across the borders. "Our party strongly favours opening of more routes between the two sides and providing banking facilities for the cross-LoC trade through existing routes, off-course with foolproof security system in place," the minister said in his public address in Srinagar on Sunday.
Pertinently, India on Monday summoned the Pakistan deputy high commissioner in New Delhi and lodged a strong protest against the killing of five civilians in "unprovoked firing" by Pakistani forces, terming the incident "highly deplorable".
Pakistan deputy high commissioner Syed Haider Shah was also told that such heinous acts are against established humanitarian norms and professional military conduct, the external affairs ministry official was quoted by reports as having said on Monday evening.
In the midst of the heightened tensions, the civilians living in border areas time and again find themselves caught in the line of fire between two hostile militaries. Ironically, both the countries invariably accuse the other of initiating border skirmishes resulting in the deaths of soldiers and civilians.
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