Pakistan and India are likely to announce new Kashmir-related confidence-building measures, including an increase in the number of trading points along the Line of Control. According to media repots, the announcement is likely to come when the foreign ministers of the two countries meet in New Delhi this week.
The CBMs include an increase in the number of trading points along the Line of Control, increasing the number of trading days from two to four, the launch of a new bus service between Kargil and Skardu and increasing the frequency of the bus link between Muzaffarabad and Srinagar, an unnamed Foreign Office official told The Express Tribune newspaper.
The agreement on the new CBMs was finalised at a recent meeting of a Pakistan-India working group in New Delhi and is part of efforts by the two countries to facilitate trade and travel along the LoC.
The official said the foreign secretaries due to meet in New Delhi on July 26, a day before the ministerial-level talks will further discuss the issue. "The new CBMs will be placed before the two foreign ministers and they may announce the final agreement at the end of talks," said the official.
Currently, cross-LoC trade is conducted along the Muzaffarabad-Uri and Poonch-Rawalakot.
India has proposed three additional trading routes - Nauseri-Tithwal, Hajipur-Uri and Tattapani-Mendhar. Traders from both sides of the LoC have been demanding an increase in the number of trading days, resumption of telecommunication links between the two parts of Kashmir and inclusion of more items in the trade.
Pakistani Foreign Office officials said the two countries are trying to address these issues to facilitate traders from both sides.