A Pakistani newspaper on Sunday hailed the decision to resume cross-LoC trade in Jammu and Kashmir and urged Islamabad to attend to Indian concerns over smuggling of drugs in the garb of barter. “It is a rare bright spot in the otherwise dismal state of bilateral relations” between India and Pakistan, the Dawn said in an editorial. India on July 21 shut down one of the routes in the trade across the Line of Control (LoC) dividing Jammu and Kashmir between the two countries. New Delhi has said this will be resumed by August 8, the daily noted. The Dawn said while small-scale, barter-based trade across the LoC would not transform the economic prospects of the region, it was vital to keep the trade ties alive and help sustain a constituency for peace. “The resumption of trade is also a welcome reminder of how effective intra-Kashmir confidence-building measures can be,” it said.
“There is no sign yet that India and Pakistan are seeking to resume (their) dialogue, but the Kashmir trade ought to be protected. “The Indian allegations of narcotics smuggling have highlighted a problem that ought to be addressed (by Islamabad),” it added.