New Delhi and Islamabad have halted trade across the Kashmir border after Indian authorities caught a Pakistani truck driver with illegal drugs. Trade across the disputed Kashmir region began in 2008.
Trade across the Kashmir border between India and Pakistan was stalled after Indian authorities detained a truck driver accused with carrying drugs.
"We were informed by the Indian authorities on Friday evening that they have stopped 22 Pakistani trucks which crossed the Line of Control (LOC) earlier that day," Basharat Iqbal, trade facilitation officer in Pakistan-administered Kashmir told AFP news agency.
Local media in Pakistan also reported the incident:
Indian policemen on Friday discovered more than 300 packets - around 12 kilograms- of suspected contraband from a Pakistani truck carrying oranges, Indian police superintendent Suhail Mir told the Press Trust of India (PTI).
The driver, Anayat Hussain, was a resident of Muzaffarabad on the Pakistani side of the Kashmir border, also known as the Line of Control (LOC), Mir added. Officials had sent the suspicious substances for forensic examination and were now investigating the driver and his Indian Kashmiri customer, who was to receive the consignment.
There were fears that smuggling of drugs across the border could hamper business between the two countries, especially affecting local people.
The Kashmir border featured extensively in headlines last year, when cross-border skirmishes led to the death of many civilians on both sides, raising fears of a full-blown war between the two adversaries.
Barter trade across the Line of Control began in 2008 as a part of peace efforts between the two neighbors, who have fought three wars over the disputed territory of Kashmir since their independence from the British Empire in 1947.
mg/rc (AFP, PTI)