ISLAMABAD  - A meeting of Pakistan-India Joint Working Group (JWG) on Cross-LoC CBMs will be held in New Delhi today (Tuesday) to discuss ways and means to further streamline and improve the modalities regarding trade across the LoC.

Pakistan delegation will be headed by Riffat Masood, Director General (South Asia) Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while Rudrendra Tandon, Joint Secretary (PAI) Ministry of External Affairs, will lead the Indian side.

In a meeting between Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry and Indian High Commissioner Dr TCA Raghavan on January 25, it was decided to hold a meeting of the Joint Working Group. The JWG would discuss ways and means to further streamline and improve the modalities regarding trade across the LoC. Following the alleged discovery of some narcotics in one of the trucks from the AJK side on January 15, trade and travel across the LoC had been suspended. Subsequently, this was resumed.

Since the working group is meeting after a gap of one and half years (the last meeting was held in July 2012 in Islamabad), it will also review the current status of the CBMs that are in place and give its recommendations.

Agencies add: Suspected freedom fighters killed two police outside a court in Indian-occupied Kashmir on Monday, hours after another officer was stabbed in a separate incident in the restive region, police said.

“Two policemen died in the shooting by freedom fighters on a truck outside the court complex,” police superintendent Tejinder Singh told a French news agency.

The firing took place in Pulwama town, 30 kilometres south of the region’s main city of Srinagar, as a group of police arrived to deliver food to colleagues on duty at the court, a police officer said.

Earlier, a police officer was stabbed and critically injured in a marketplace in the nearby town of Pampore by an unknown assailant who was overpowered and arrested as he tried to flee.

“He stabbed the policeman in the neck and tried to snatch his weapon. He is a ‘close relative’ of an active Hizbul Mujahideen member,” another police officer Pervez Ahmed said.

About a dozen freedom fighter groups have been fighting Indian forces since 1989 for independence or merger of the territory with Pakistan. The fighting has left tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians, dead.

Last week Indian security forces killed six suspected freedom fighters in the remote frontier area of Kupwara near the de facto border with Pakistan known as Line of Control (LoC).

The killings triggered protests in the area as locals suspected the slain people to be unknown civilians. Police later claimed investigations established that all six were freedom fighters.

Opposition PDP MLAs created a ruckus, disrupting question hour in the IHK Legislative Assembly on Monday in protest over Farooq Abdullah’s statement that Kashmiris were the biggest thieves in respect of power theft.

Farooq, who is the father of Indian-occupied Kashmir’s Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, was speaking at a function in Delhi on Sunday over the issue of power theft in the country.

“Kashmiri (people of Kashmir) are not only thieves, but maha chor (biggest thieves),” said Farooq.

Trouble erupted in the Legislative Assembly immediately after the House assembled on Monday morning. The opposition PDP MLAs were soon on their feet, drawing the speaker’s attention towards Farooq Abdullah’s statement and sought an apology from him. They also sought adjournment of question hour to discuss the issue. The speaker’s repeated requests that the union minister is not a member of the House fell on deaf ears as angry PDP legislators stormed into the well of the House, raising slogans against Abdullah. Though the speaker continued with the question hour, nothing was audible in the commotion caused by the agitating opposition members.

The PDP MLAs continued to raise slogans for over half an hour, and later staged a walkout from the House. However, before leaving the House, some of them had heated exchanges with Higher Education Minister Mohammad Akbar Lone and National Congress MLA Surjeet Singh Slathia. This is not the first time that Farooq has come under criticism for his statements. Last year, Farooq faced fire for a controversial comment against women. Farooq had said that men were scared to talk to women as they feared that they may end up in jail.