The Jammu and Kashmir BJP unit today called for closure of cross-LoC trade, terming it a “source of terrorism funding”. The demand comes in the wake of reports that the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing terror funding in Kashmir, may recommend closure of trade activities along LoC routes. “The cross-border trade needs to be stopped as it is one of the sources of terrorism funding,” BJP state spokesperson Virender Gupta told reporters here.
“We fully support the NIA. We demand that the cross-LoC trade should be stopped. NIA and other agencies have said earlier as well that hawala money and narcotics were being smuggled via these routes to fund terrorism in Kashmir,” he said. “All these factors which help separatist forces, including hawala money transactions to terrorist and separatist groups need to be stopped, even though it would bring inconvenience or loss to someone financially or politically,” the BJP leader said. However, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has strongly pitched for the continuance of trade across the Line of Control (LoC).
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Addressing a rally on the 18th foundation day of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Srinagar last week, she also batted for nominating members to the legislative assembly from the other side of LoC so that joint meetings could be held once in a year. “There are many difficulties through the Wagah border, charas and ganja comes from there but no one talks about closing it. Just because a mistake happens on the Srinagar- Muzaffarabad road, we should not talk about closing it. We will not allow that to happen,” the chief minister had said.