Couple of days back, India and Pakistan has resumed barter trade at a border crossing in Kashmir, confirms an Indian official. Though strain in the disputed area continued with a common strike and more hostility between Indian security forces and separatists, the movement of trade vehicles carried on.
Hostilities between the two neighbors worsened late last month resulting in trade cut off across the border town where the exchange of goods takes place known as the Line of Control (LoC).
But earlier this week the track re-opened after firing in the region eased, said Riyaz Ahmad Malik, an official in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir. Thirty-five trucks left for Chakothi on the Pakistani side of the border with a similar number moving in the opposite direction, he said.
“Trade across the LoC operates on a barter system, where no money is exchanged. This trade is heavily dependent on the trust factor,” said Pawan Anand, president of a local trading association in Indian-administered Kashmir. “We neither meet traders of Pakistan nor can check the quality of the imported goods until they reach us.”
India-side traders export almonds, banana, cardamom, cumin, chilli pepper, cloth, pomegranate, and grapes, while Pakistan exchanges trade with their produce of oranges, kinnows, malta, carpets, prayer mats, cloth, mangoes and herbs.