For the fist time since the break up of Kasmir, the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road was reopened today to facilitate cross border trade between divided Kashmir. Earlier in 2005, the road was reopened for passenger traffic by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
Jammu and Kashmir governor N N Vohra flagged-off a convoy of 13 trucks from salamabad in J&K, carrying fruits, walnuts, honey and spices earlier in the day to symbolise the reopening of the trade routefor the first time in the last 60 years.
The trucks will cross the Aman Sethu bridge at Kaman post, the last Indian territory and would be unloaded at Chakoti in Pakistan occupied Kashmir.The 17.5-km-long stretch between the border township of Uri, 100 km north-west of Srinagar, and Aman Setu, forms the vital link on the Jhelum valley road connecting Srinagar and Muzaffarabad in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.
According to Mubeen Shah, president, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry the trucks will cross the bridge and will be unloaded at Chakoti while those coming from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir will be unloaded at Salamabad.
President of Peoples Democratic Party and Lok Sabha MP from Anantnag Mehbooba Mufti, vice-president Maulana Iftikhar Hussain Ansari and Basharat Bukhari attended the inaugural function.
Pakistan's new government says it will not shy away from taking a different approach to its dispute with India though trade to move from conflict management to conflict resolution.
The road linking Srinagar with Muzzaffarabad in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, which was severely damaged in the 2005 killer earthquake, was reopened the same year.