Cross-border trade between India and Pakistan-controlled Kashmir was halted over ceasefire violations, Indian authorities said on Tuesday (14 March). Pakistan was accused of firing at Indian posts along the border in Poonch district in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Although firing stopped by Wednesday (15 March), officials in India said that trade was unlikely to resume anytime soon. According to reports, the two-day shelling severely damaged the Trade Facilitation Centre at Chaka-da-Bagh in the district.

An officer from the cross-border trade office told the Press Trust of India that trucks loaded with goods from Poonch reached the Line of Control (LoC) on Tuesday, but Pakistani authorities did not open the gate to allow the truck to pass. The vehicles then returned as there was no response from across the border.

A senior police officer also confirmed to the news agency that trade between the two countries "came to halt following ceasefire violation. There was no LoC trade today".

More than 20 trucks from both countries are allowed to cross the Line of Control between Tuesday and Friday as part of the cross-border trade.

Meanwhile, violence over the past two days led to the suspension of bus services between Poonch in India and Rawalakote in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir. Schools were also shut in areas where shelling and heavy firing was reported.

India Pakistan Border
Trade of goods between India and Pakistan was on halt after corss-border shelling for two days in the border district of Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir - File photo Reuters