On Monday 19 September, Punjab traders dealing in import and export of goods with Pakistan threatened to end Rs 30 billion worth of trade with the neighbouring country after the Uri terrorist attack which took on September 18.
“Time has come for India to take strict and swift action against Pakistan which is responsible for the Uri terror attack that left several of our soldiers dead,” Amritsar-based trader and President of Federation of Dry Fruit and Haryana Commercial Association, Anil Mehra said to the deccanchronicle.com.
Noting that there is a great amount of anger against this terror attack, which left 18 soldiers dead, Mehra said traders in Punjab are ready to end trade ties with Pakistan through the Attari-Wagah land route.
“We urge the Centre to even stop trade with Pakistan through Attar-Wagah land route. We are ready for ending trade ties with the neighbouring country, which is responsible for such an attack. For us, the country comes first and then comes trade. We will do something else for our livelihood,” said Mehra.
Traders asserted that it is Pakistan which is the most dependent on India for import of goods like vegetables, including tomatoes, ginger, garlic and spices.
“If we today stop sending tomatoes which has been the major export item to Pakistan, they will face immense shortage of this perishable commodity. Moreover, if we do not import dates from Pakistan, they will not find buyers for this,” he added.
Traders further said Pakistan had not even allowed export of onions to India last year when the country was facing a shortage. India then imported onions from Afghanistan.
Pakistan allows import of 137 items from India through Attari-Wagah.
As per estimates, the total volume of trade between the two nations via Attari-Wagah is estimated at Rs 30 billion crore per annum.
(1 Indian Rupee=0.015USD)