MIRPUR (AJK)

With trans-Line of Control trade and travel remained suspended for the ninth consecutive day on Saturday, the anxiety of the families of 75 truck drivers from both the sides of LoC is increasing with every passing day as they have been stranded in Muzzaffarabad and Salamabad, town of Indian Occupied Kashmir, official sources said

Grave concern is being witnessed among the parents of 48 truck drivers from AJK, who have been stranded at Salamabad town located near Uri town close to other side of the LoC, official sources told The Nation on Saturday.

Furthermore, the traders engaged in the trans-LoC trade have expressed serious concern over the expected loss of hundreds of millions of rupees due to the road blockade, the sources said. Various families of these drivers have made a joint appeal to the heads of Pakistani and Indian governments to resolve the deadlock without any further delay. “We are apprehensive about their security. We are passing sleepless nights. The drivers are stranded without any fault. If both the countries are not interested in the LoC trade, they should officially close it, rather than making the drivers scapegoat,” the families of truck drivers said while talking to the media.

They also said that if the alleged prevailing confrontation between Islamabad and New Delhi continued further, they will take to the streets against the continuous detention of their dear ones.

“After the reported seizure of 114 packets of narcotics allegedly concealed under almonds consignment, trade across the Line of Control was disrupted on January 17 at Trade Facilitation Centre at Salamabad. The driver a truck was also arrested with seizure of the packets by the authorities of Indian Held Kashmir, says a report reaching here Saturday from across the line of control.

The AJK Trade and Travel authorities later detained 27 drivers and their vehicles from India, who had gone to Chakothi near Muzzaffarabad with trade consignments. The AJK authorities also asked the Indian authorities to release the arrested driver and allow the return of all 49 trucks that had come to the Salamabad trade centre in Baramulla district on January 17.

Traders in Srinagar also expressed serious concern over their goods and truck drivers stranded on the LoC. Cross-LoC Traders President Muhammad Tariq Khan said that the goods were lying at Salamabad and other side. He said that if the prevailing condition continued further more they will face huge financial losses as most of the stranded items are perishable and cannot be kept longer. The traders also appealed both New Delhi and Islamabad to resolve the crisis without making it a point of prestige.