Pakistan Attacks Line Of Control Trade Center In Poonch, Army Retaliates

The cross Line of Control trade center was inaugurated 10-years-ago as a confidence building measure.


The cross Line of Control trade center at Chakanda Bagh in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district came under attack from Pakistani shelling on Sunday morning. Situated nearly a kilometre from the LoC, the trade center was the main stop for cross LoC trucks and buses. No casualty has been reported.

The shelling, using small arms and 82 mm mortars, was part of heavy firing by Pakistan in Poonch's Krishna Ghatii sector. The Army says it responded to the aggression promptly and in equal measure.

The trade center was inaugurated 10-years-ago as a symbol of a Jammu and Kashmir specific confidence building measure announced by India and Pakistan. The trade takes place four days a week across the Line of Control in a primitive barter system with no banking and communication facilities.

The incident, however, has left civilians in Poonch district worried.

"For the last 10 years, our LoC trade was going well. We did business in the tune of many crores. But now, with the firing taking place, I think it will be difficult to do business," said an LoC trader Mohammad Yaseen.

Another resident Zuber Kohli said, "Firing started suddenly at 10 am. The entire village is in fear."

"A couple of shells landed near our houses. We made calls but nobody answered. We are in great fear," he added.

In the past, there have been a number of ceasefire violations in the Poonch sector near the Line of Control. A soldier was martyred in a Pakistani attack at Gulpur in Poonch on Friday.

Union Minister Jitendra Singh today said the Modi government will give a "befitting" response to such acts. "The concerned agencies will take into cognisance the chain of events that has taken place and you should trust the Modi government to give a befitting response", Mr Singh said.

(with inputs from PTI)