Members of an association of cross-border traders in Kashmir staged a demonstration on Monday, April 22, in Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir state) to protest the suspension of trade across the Line of Control (LoC). The Salamabad Cross-LoC Traders' Union met at Pratap Park for their protest and to demand a resumption of trade. Further similar actions are possible in the coming days and weeks if the suspension is upheld.
The Indian government announced a ban on cross-LoC trade on Thursday, April 18, with immediate effect. Since 2008, India and Pakistan had allowed cross-LoC trade of 21 primarily agricultural products.
Tensions between India and Pakistan significantly escalated in February 2019, beginning with a terrorist attack in Indian-controlled Kashmir that killed 40 paramilitary officers and was claimed by Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM). The Indian Air Force (IAF) responded with an airstrike on suspected JeM camps in Pakistan, sparking a series of retaliatory airstrikes and artillery fire. India and Pakistan both claim sovereignty over Jammu and Kashmir, which has been the focus of periodic violent conflict since 1947.
Individuals in Srinagar are advised to monitor developments to the trade ban, avoid all public demonstrations as a precaution, remain vigilant for militant activity, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home government. As a reminder, some Western governments advised their citizens against travel to parts of Kashmir due to the significant risk of violence.
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