MIRPUR (AJK) - After a protracted pause, spreading over six decades, cross-LoC trade formally resumed between Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Occupied Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday through historic Muzaffarabad-Srinagar route. Similar cross-LoC trade will formally be launched on Poonch-Rawalakot route today in the context of recent concord between India and Pakistan to conduct trade activities across the Line of Control in AJK. AJK Prime Minister Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan inaugurated the truck service at Chakothi on Muzaffarabad-Srinagar Road flagging off trucks loaded with various goods from both sides. A limited number of trucks Tuesday crossed the Line of Control (LoC) from both the sides for the first time after closure of the Jhelum Valley Road which unites the two divided parts of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. Occupied Kashmir's Governor NN Vohra flagged off the trucks before they crossed over to this side of LoC. Tight security arrangements were made on the occasion. The organisers on the other side have also decked up the Salamabad Toursit Reception Centre where from the trucks were flagged off. The trucks were downloaded at Chakoti. Similarly, from this side the trucks were unloaded at Salamabad. This was for the first time in the last 61 years that the trucks carrying trade items exchanged sides. Earlier, 15 trucks were scheduled to cross over to the other side of Kashmir with the first consignment of goods, but the number was lately further restricted to 11 only. As many as 10 trucks were carrying Kashmiri apples whereas another truck was carrying pulses, spices, dry fruits and honey. From this side, eight to nine trucks were carrying goods to the other side including different types of dry fruits. Each truck was carrying a load of 1.5 tonne. A day before, the authorities conducted a trial run by driving a loaded truck over the bridge successfully. The trade between the two parts of Jammu and Kashmir would be allowed only twice a week initially. Also, only a limited number of trade items have been initially included in the list of trade items. Addressing the people gathered at Chakothi, AJK Prime Minister Sardar Attiq Ahmad welcomed the historic development, which signaled a peaceful era emerging not only in Kashmir but in the sub-continent. He suggested setting up of a Joint Fund by both India and Pakistan and Occupied Kashmir and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir to make the trade venture a success. He said President Asif Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani deserve compliments that they have translated into reality the dream of late Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto to see Kashmir enjoying peach and freedom. He repeated his proposal to declare LoC as Line of Commerce as kit has practically assumed this status. Sardar Attiq Ahmad reminded that Nawaz Sharif had initiated the peace process through Bus Service on which then Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee traveled. India and Pakistan agreed to reopen the 170-kilometre-long Jhelum Valley Road for trade more than three years after it was reopened, allowing the divided families on both the sides of LoC to exchange visits. Before 1947, the road was the most vital connecting link between Kashmir and other parts of the Asia and Central Asia. AFP adds: The reopening of trade through LoC has raised hopes of a drop in tension in the disputed region. "It is a historic day which will surely help the economy of both parts of Kashmir," said NN Vohr. "I hope it will herald peace in the region," he added.. AJK Prime Minister Sardar Attiq said he also hoped the event will 'help make headway towards resolving the Kashmir issue'. Schoolchildren and people on the Pakistani side raised slogans 'Kashmir will become Pakistan', and 'Long Live Kashmir freedom movement'. The largely symbolic crossing shortly after midday was the first time that vehicles were allowed to cross Aman Setu or Peace Bridge on the LoC since arch rivals India and Pakistan fought a war over the region in 1947. Security was tight for the trade opening, with even the fruit subject to stringent security checks. "The items were scanned in x-ray machines here before allowing the truckers to take them across," police officer Faisal Qayoom told AFP. The opening of the trade route has been a key demand of Kashmiri organisations. Kashmiri truckers from both sides said they were delighted about the resumption of trade. "I am very happy to be part of this historic moment," said Ghulam Hassan Baba, a driver from Srinagar. "Never in my dreams I had imagined that one day I will drive my truck and go to the other side," said Mazhar Hussain, the driver of the first Pakistani truck. APP adds: All Parties Hurriyet Conference (APHC) has welcomed the LoC trade terming it a vital step to achieve early resolution of the Kashmir dispute. The APHC spokesman in a statement said that the opening of trade between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad was an important confidence building measure, which should be followed by more CBMs to resolve the Kashmir dispute. He said that the travel of the people across LoC should be made free of all restrictions. He urged India to accept ground realities and come forward to resolve the Kashmir dispute in accordance with Kashmiris' aspirations.