Gurdaspur terror attack hits Indo-Pak trade sentiments: Traders

Chandigarh: The terror attack in Gurdaspur district may not have an immediate impact on trade between India and Pakistan through the Attari-Wagah route, but traders admit this 'cowardly act' has hit the business sentiments and could act as a potential threat to bilateral trade between two nations.

Calling for peace and tranquillity, traders, however, said India should continue to give befitting reply to those who want to disturb harmony with their nefarious designs as done in the case of terror attack at Dinanagar in Gurdaspur.

"Business sentiments have definitely been hit at Attari-Wagah trading point because of terror attack in Gurdaspur as such attacks lead to tension among importers and exporters of both nations ," a trader based in Amritsar said.

"Every businessman will worry about his money involved in the trade as and when such incidents occur. And this is happening now with every trader here," he said.

Echoing similar sentiments, a clearing agent at the Integrated Check Post Amritsar, said, "Yes, tension is palpable and sentiments are low because of terror attack."

However, traders pointed out that it was difficult to gauge any impact on the trade between India and Pakistan as of now as negligible volume of business is taking place at present.

Currently, a few trucks of cotton yarn are moving across the border while no export of vegetables is taking place to Pakistan. Similarly, some trucks laden with cement and gypsum are coming into Indian territory. They further said the government should maintain tough posture to thwart any attempt of terror coming from across the border to disturb peace.

Last year in November, trade between India and Pakistan through the Attari-Wagah land route came to a halt in the wake of suicide attack at Wagah.

The two countries started cross border movement of trucks in October 2007 from Attari Check post at Amritsar to Wagah border with an intention of boosting bilateral trade.

Currently, Pakistan allows import of 137 items through land Attari-Wagah land route including vegetables, oil cake, fruits etc. Indian imports are cement, gypsum, dry dates, rocks salt, aluminium ores etc.

The volume of India's trade with Pakistan through Attari-Wagah land route increased from USD 129 million in 2007-08 to USD 671 million in 2013-14.

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