Scores of LoC traders Monday staged protest demonstration here demanding resumption of the trade between India and Pakistan.
The traders associated with Salamabad cross-LoC traders Union gathered here at Pratap Park to protest against the trade suspension by Government of India.
The protesting traders were carrying placards reading ‘We Want Justice’, ‘Resume Trade’, ‘Don’t play with our fate’.
President, Cross-LoC Traders’ Association Hilal Turkei said that they always welcomed the steps of the government regarding the security of the trade.
“From the very first day of trade, our demand was to set up a fool-proof mechanism,” he said.
Turkei said that the traders have invested huge amount and are suffering losses worth crores of rupees.
“We appeal to the Ministry of Home Affairs to review the suspension order,” he said.
He added before making such decision, the government should have discussed it with the traders.
“Our livelihood depends on this trade thousands of people are associated with it, " Turkei said adding, “This ban has rendered them jobless and many families will go in stress."
General Secretary of Salamabad cross-LoC Traders Union Mohammad Shafi said MHA decision was appalling for traders.
“This trade was initiated under the reign of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee so that peace prevails between two countries,” he said.
Shafi said Vajpayee was a big political figure and the trade suspension means disrespecting his decision.
“This trade was an instant success and traders have really worked hard for it,” he added.
He appealed Union Home Ministry to resume the trade so that they could live without these strains.
On 19 April Union Home Ministry suspended the cross- LoC trade, stating that the routes were used for “inflow of weapons, narcotics and foreign currency”.
The move was criticised traders and politicians in Kashmir