Rivals India and Pakistan are due to start trading Tuesday between their divided zones of Kashmir, raising hopes that the revolt-hit region could be see a major drop in tensions. It will be the first time that trucks will roll between the two zones created in the bloody aftermath of independence of the subcontinent from Britain six decades ago, when the region was split into India and Pakistan. "The step will go a long way to cooling tempers in (Indian) Kashmir," said Tahir Mohiudin, the editor of Urdu-weekly Chattan in Kashmir, where a separatist insurgency has raged since 1989. "Opening the trade route to Pakistan will have a psychological impact. It will create a confidence in people that even if the Indian route is shut, they have an alternate route (for trade)," Mohiudin said. Anything calming tensions would be good news for Indian authorities, who announced plans on the weekend to press ahead with polls in Indian Kashmir later this year despite the recent upheavals in the state. The business community is delighted at the move."I'm hopeful I'll be doing business soon with people in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (Pakistan-held Kashmir) and Pakistan," said Abdul Hameed, who owns an electrical generator company. Business leaders from the divided zones have already met in Indian Kashmir to discuss the opening of trade. Hameed said the blockade convinced them of the need for an alternative trade route. The first link to be opened Tuesday will be between Indian Kashmir summer capital Srinagar and Muzaffarabad, the main town in Pakistani Kashmir. The route to Muzaffarabad was the scene of a massive demonstration in early August during the blockade when 100,000 protesters marched toward the Line of Control, intending to cross over. A prominent separatist leader and four other protesters were shot dead when Indian forces halted the marchers. The second trade route, expected to be opened at a later date, connects Poonch in southern Indian Kashmir with Rawalkot village in Pakistani Kashmir.The opening of the trade between two parts of the disputed region will go a long way toward building confidence among the Kashmiri traders, who suffered losses due to the recent economic blockade. "The blockade created fear. If it happened once, it can happen again," said Amin-bin Khaliq, adding he suffered big financial losses over the summer as he couldn't export dry fruit in time. "India is a good market but if we're able to sell our goods in Pakistan Kashmir it will be a huge bonus," said Khaliq. Freedom fighters also have welcomed the opening of the trade route. "The time has come when we should move forward towards economic as well as political freedom," said Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, adding the route could turn out to be a "first step towards a political resolution" of the Kashmir issue.