Soon after it became known that Kashmir fruit did not figure in the list of articles to be exported through Srinagar-Muzzaffarabad Route, Union Minister of Water Resources and President, J&K Pradesh Congress Committee, Prof. Saifuddin Soz, took up the matter with the Minister for External Affairs, Shri Pranab Mukharjee.
The argument put forth by Prof. Soz was that the trade on this route would be meaningless unless Kashmir fruit was accepted as an essential item in the list. He was told that the initial exclusion of Kashmir fruit was due to the fact that fruit happens to be in the ‘negative list of commodities’ in the SAARC charter.
Prof. Soz felt highly thankful to the Foreign Minister Shri Mukharjee who agreed with him (Prof. Soz) on inclusion of Kashmir fruit in the list. Shri Mukharjee held a high-level meeting late last night in which Foreign Secretary and Secretary Commerce also attended. The inclusion of Kashmir fruit in the list of commodities to be exported from Kashmir was cleared in this meeting.
Shri Pranab Mukharjee, who is vigorously following the matter regarding Cross-LOC trade on Srinagar-Muzzaffarabad Route with Pakistan, assured Prof. Soz last evening that the movement of goods on this route would start soon and other facilities related to trade would also be streamlined, in due course of time.