- India and its neighbourhood- relations.
Line of Control
What to study?
- For Prelims: What is LoC and how is it established, geographical extent and significance?
- For Mains: How is trade across LoC being misused, need for trade across LoC and what needs to be done?
Context: MHA has issued orders to suspend the LoC trade in Jammu & Kashmir. This action has been taken as the Government of India has been receiving reports that the Cross LoC trade routes are being misused by the Pakistan based elements for funnelling illegal weapons, narcotics and fake currency etc.
Trade across LoC:
- LoC trade is meant to facilitate exchange of goods of common use between local populations across the LoC in Jammu & Kashmir.
- The trade is allowed through two Trade Facilitation Centres located at Salamabad, Uri, District Baramulla and Chakkan-da-Bagh, District Poonch.
- The trade takes place four days a week.
- The Trade is based on Barter system and zero duty basis.
Why is it being suspended?
- LoC trade is being misused on very large scale. It has been revealed that the trade has changed its character to mostly third party trade and products from other regions, including foreign countries, are finding their way through this route.
- Unscrupulous and anti national elements are using the route as a conduit for Hawala money, drugs and weapons, under the garb of this trade.
- Significant number of trading concerns engaged in LoC trade are being operated by persons closely associated with banned terrorist organizations involved in fuelling terrorism/separatism.
- Some individuals have crossed over to Pakistan, and joined militant organizations. Trading firms established by them are under the control of militant organizations and are engaged in LoC trade.
What is LoC?
- Originally known as the Cease-fire Line, it was redesignated as the “Line of Control” following the Simla Agreement, which was signed on 3 July 1972.
- The part of Jammu that is under Indian control is known as the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The Pakistani-controlled part is divided into Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit–Baltistan. The northernmost point of the Line of Control is known as NJ9842.
- Another ceasefire line separates the Indian-controlled state of Jammu and Kashmir from the Chinese-controlled area known as Aksai Chin.
- The Line of Control divided Kashmir into two parts and closed the Jehlum valley route.