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Home > News > Report

Sino-Indian trade post 'quietly' opened in Ladakh: Report

September 02, 2003 18:40 IST

India and China have 'quietly' decided to open the border in the Ladakh area of Kashmir, says the Daily Times, a Pakistan news portal.

According to the report, work on the proposed custom station in the Chumthang belt, the gateway to Chinese Tibet, has already begun, and this will be the fourth trading stationon the Sino-Indian border.

Apart fromNathu la pass in Sikkim, which was opened for trade following the Indian prime minister's visit to China, theotherroutes are the Lipulekh Pass in Uttaranchaland Shipkhil in Himachal Pradesh.

'For the past month, there has been an outbreak of activity at the customs preventive station (CPS) at Nyoma in Ladakh. Sources in the Jammu and Kashmir government said that customs authorities have conveyed that they are setting up a complete land custom station (LCS) along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) at the border post. They have also sought land to build the custom station. This will be the first LCS in in Kashmir JK, though there are a few CPS to prevent smuggling in the Jammu region along the Pakistan border, ' the report says.

It goes on to say that the new route connects Damchok, the last habitation on the Indian side with the Tashigang belt of Tibet. 'The area is of strategic importance and movement is restricted beyond Nyoma.

The Indian government has already requested China allow Hindu pilgrims to use this route to visit the holy Mansarovar shrine in the Kailash Mountains currently under Chinese control. The Nyoma route will create opportunities for the north-Indian businessmen, particularly of the Punjab and Haryana, who are starved of an international market because of uncertain relations between India and Pakistan. The Indian Customs Department opened its office in Ladakh last summer. '

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