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India suspends cross-border trade in Kashmir in new crackdown

Al Jazeera

India suspended cross-border trade with Pakistan-administered Kashmir because it was being used to funnel weapons and drugs in a further crackdown in the volatile territory. Trade across the Line of Control (LoC) - or the heavily militarised de facto border that divides the two parts of Kashmir between India and Pakistan - has served as a confidence-building measure and to help the local population. But tensions between India and Pakistan have been running high ever since a Pakistan-based group claimed responsibility for bombing a security convoy in Kashmir, an attack that killed more than 40 Indian troops. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in the middle of a tightening election race, ordered air attacks on a suspected camp of the Jaish-e-Muhammad group in northwest Pakistan, prompting a retaliatory air raid by Pakistan. On Thursday, the Indian home ministry said it received information that armed groups were using the cross-border route to send arms, drugs and fake Indian currency.


India halts cross-border trade in Kashmir in new crackdown on arms and drugs

The Japan Times

NEW DELHI - India suspended cross-border trade with Pakistan-controlled Kashmir because it was being used to funnel weapons and drugs, the government said on Thursday, in a further crackdown in the volatile territory. Trade across the "Line of Control" (LoC), or the heavily militarized de facto border that divides the two parts of Kashmir between India and Pakistan, has served as a confidence-building measure and to help the local population. But tensions between India and Pakistan have been running high ever since a Pakistan-based militant group claimed responsibility for bombing a security convoy in Kashmir. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in the middle of a tightening election race, ordered air strikes on a suspected camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammad group in northwest Pakistan, prompting a retaliatory air raid by Pakistan. On Thursday, the Indian home ministry said it had been receiving information that militant groups were using the cross border route to send arms, drugs and fake Indian currency.


Pakistan temporarily reopens border with Afghanistan

Al Jazeera

Pakistan has temporarily reopened its two main border crossings with Afghanistan to allow visitors with valid visas on both sides to return home, the foreign office announced. Pakistan sealed the Torkham and Chaman crossings on February 16, after a string of suicide attacks killed more than 130 people across the country, blaming the violence on Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and other armed groups. "In order to provide an opportunity to those nationals of Afghanistan who had come to Pakistan on valid visas and wish to return to their country, the government of Pakistan has decided to open the border crossings at Torkham and Chaman on March 7 and 8," the foreign office said in a statement. The temporary opening was for people who had travelled for medical, work and business purposes but were left stranded, according to Afghan ambassador to Pakistan, Omar Zakhilwal. "Many people were running out of money and were in a miserable state on this side [Pakistan] of the border," Zakhilwal told Al Jazeera.


Pakistani diplomats go missing in Afghanistan

Al Jazeera

Two Pakistani diplomats based in a consulate office in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad have been missing since June 16, when they set off by road back to their homeland, according to Pakistan's foreign office. The officials disappeared while travelling between the Torkham border crossing and Jalalabad, capital of Nangarhar province. "The matter has been raised with the relevant Afghan authorities for their safety and recovery, at the earliest," Pakistan's foreign ministry said in a statement on Sunday. In response, Afghan authorities have sent three investigation groups to ensure the officials' safe return, the statement said. "Pakistan has requested the Afghan government that all efforts may be made to ensure early recovery of our officials and bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice."


Pakistan expresses disappointment at US aid cutoff

FOX News

ISLAMABAD – A senior Pakistani senator expressed disappointment Friday at the U.S. decision to suspend military aid, saying it will be detrimental to bilateral relations, while the government itself said it was too early to gauge the effects of the decision.