Art & Culture
- Sexual Harassment Charges against Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi
- All You Need to know about Electoral Bonds
- Electoral Bonds controversy
- NaMo TV controversy
- General Elections 2019
- RBI Governor bats for a Permanent Status to Finance Commission
- PM Modi’s Mission Shakti Speech & Model Code of Conduct
- Sadhvi Pragya Thakur’s latest Controversy
- Rafale deal document controversy
- Should SC Judges be under RTI ambit?
- Supreme Court Judgement on Tainted Candidates
- VVPAT verification
Governance & Social Justice
- Candida Auris : Drug- resistant fungi
- Candida auris infection
- Healthcare System for India, Difference in USA & European healthcare model?
- Lateral Entry in Civil Services explained
- Model policy for Women in Police
- NIRF India Rankings 2019 declared
- Quality Assurance Scheme
- Sex on false promise of marriage is rape
- Survey 2019 Ambitions Beyond Growth report by UNESCAP
- World Health Statistics Overview 2019 report on Life Expectancy
- World Press Freedom Index 2019
- Supreme Court compensation order on Bilkis Bano case
- WHO guidelines on physical activity for children under 5 years of age
- Global Talent Competitive Index 2019
- Algeria Political Crisis
- EU’s new Copyright Law, Will it change Web Worldwide?
- India Pakistan Kartarpur Corridor Talks
- India to Become NATO Ally?
- Japan Starts a New Era
- Julian Assange Arrested
- Sudan Political Crisis
- Trump designates Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran
- United Nations Has to Pay India $38 Million
- US labels Revolutionary Guard of Iran a terror organisation
- US Mexico border wall controversy
- Why is UAE Important for India?
- Why is Chile Important for India?
- India Pakistan Conflict De-escalation Mechanisms
- India suspends cross LoC trade with Pakistan
- What is Arab Spring 2.0?
- India to stop buying Oil from Iran
- Trump withdraws from UN arms treaty
- Asian Development Outlook 2019
- China’s growth after slowdown
- Foreign Investment in India
- India’s 20th Livestock Census
- India’s transition to Renewable Energy from conventional sources
- Indian Army Builds The Longest Bridge of India Over Indus In Leh
- India Energy Modelling Forum by NITI Aayog & USAID
- National Common Mobility Card launched
- Rise and fall of Private Airlines in India
- Rise in Global Crude Oil prices & weakening Rupee
- Slowdown in Industrial Growth & rising Inflation
- Supreme Court order on EPFO
- Supreme Court quashes RBI’s 12 February Circular on NPA
- What are Junk Bonds?
- What is Fixed Maturity Plans?
- What is GDP deflator? Is it more comprehensive compared to WPI and CPI?
- What is Trader’s Credit Card Scheme?
- What is Wholesale Price Index?
- 1st Bimonthly Monetary Policy review – April 2019
- National Rubber Policy 2019
- Sensex hits 7 months high, History & Functions of Bombay Stock Exchange
- Supreme Court orders RBI on RTI
- What is Dedollarisation?
- Asian Tea Alliance
- Pepsico vs Farmers Issue
Defence & Security
Science & Technology
- Dhanush Artillery Guns
- Combat Casualty Drugs
- The Indian Museum of the Earth (TIME)
- EMISAT Satellite Launched
- Faster Adoption & Manufacturing of Hybrid & Electric
- First Ever Image of a Black Hole
- India to Buy MH60 Romeo Helicopters
- Nepal and Sri Lanka Launch Their First Satellites Raavana 1 & NepaliSat-1
- Nirbhay Missile Successfully Tested
- High Bacteriophages in Ganga River
- Army invokes Emergency Powers for Missile Deal
- Cell Based Meat
- INS Imphal Guided Missile Destroyer
- Draft Indian Forest Act 2019
- Gujarat Fishermen’s victory in US Supreme Court
- Humpback Mahseer Fish included in Critically Endangered list by IUCN
- India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP)
- Jammu & Kashmir Environment Issues
- Madras High Court order on Chennai Salem Highway
- Monkey declared Vermin in Himachal Pradesh
- Neelakurinji Flower under Severe Threat
- Solar eWaste
- Special Postal Stamp on Ice Stupas released
- State of Global Climate report 2018
- What is Green Finance Ecosystem?
- Wind turbines are impacting ecology in Western Ghats
- All about Wild Food Plants
Spice of the Month
- GS 2 || International Relations || India & it’s Neighbors || Pakistan
Why in news?
- The Union home ministry has decided to suspend trade across the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir at two locations — Salamabad and Chakan-da-Bagh.
- Illegal trade: The government’s contention was that this trade was being misused by locals on both sides of the border to send illegal weapons, narcotics and fake currency into India.
- Zero-tariff barter arrangement violated: It also argued that the zero-tariff barter arrangement is being violated through under-invoicing and the exchange of third party items such as U.S.-origin California almonds.
- Government officials reportedly identified at least 10 militants — essentially residents on the Indian side of the LoC — using such trade openings to cross over to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and joining terror outfits such as Hizbul Mujahideen.
- The officials asserted that under the garb of local trade such individuals were assisting militants and separatists within Kashmir.
- There was also the issue of trade rules being violated in the form of under-invoicing and exchange of third party items such as California almonds.
- On the face of it then, the government’s decision looks justified. The reality, however, is that it is yet another misstep by the government when it comes to its Kashmir policy.
- The benefits to the local economies from the cross-LoC trade are beyond doubt. Suspending this trade abruptly serves little purpose apart from further antagonising and alienating the locals.
- The first thing to understand is the nature and origin of this trade. It is essentially in the form of barter trade that allows locals on both sides of the LoC to come together and trade without being straitjacketed by the onerous requirements of international trade.
- The opening of cross-LoC trade was among the confidence-building mechanisms that followed the 2003 India-Pakistan ceasefire along the line, and that included a bus service between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad (in PoK).
- The whole point was to allow locals, who often have strong family and cultural ties across the LoC, to mingle and create an atmosphere of trust that was more conducive to allow for a thaw at a higher political level.
- Many observers believed that given a chance, the social and cultural interconnectedness achieved through such barter trade would eventually lead to a more structured economic and political coming together of the region.
- It is estimated that since the barter trade commenced along two routes across the LoC in October 2008, employment to the order of more than 1.6 lakh days had been created. The volume of trade over the decade has crossed 6,000 crore.
- Security concerns must be addressed through greater scrutiny by border patrol officials, more in-depth background checks, better intelligence, etc, and not by stopping exchange of goods and putting at risk the livelihood of the people on both sides of the LoC.
- What makes this decision even more unfortunate is the timing. The current suspension comes in the course of a shrill election campaign that the ruling BJP is relentlessly pulling towards its hard line on subjects such as Article 370 on the special status of J&K.
- The government has sent unsettling signals by closing the National Highway between Udhampur and Baramulla to civilian traffic for two days a week to secure the movement of troop convoys.
- To now summarily suspend LoC trade is to invite suspicion that the step has been taken without careful consideration of the consequences and also for political reasons. The suspension must be urgently revoked.
- Discuss the current state of India-Pakistan relations and comment on the way forward for relations between the two countries.