Pakistan on Sunday deplored India's "unilateral" decision to suspend cross-LoC trade and rejected the allegations regarding its "misuse" by elements from across the border to smuggle weapons, narcotics, fake currency and foment terrorism.
Hardening its stand against Pakistan, India on Thursday indefinitely suspended cross-border trade at two points along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir after reports of very large scale "misuse" of the cross-LoC trade.
Pakistan's Foreign Office said the Indian action was based on "groundless accusations" that this mechanism is being used for smuggling, narcotics, fake currency and terrorism.
"This litany is all too familiar and in line with India's frequent attempts to portray legitimate activities of the people," in Jammu & Kashmir as linked to terrorism, the FO said.
The FO said the cross-LoC trade has been one of the functional Confidence-Building Measures (CBMs) between the two countries, which came about after arduous diplomatic efforts.
"The unilateral suspension of this Kashmir-related CBM indicates that India is seeking to reverse even the modest gains made by the two countries in the diplomatic domain. Its suspension without consulting Pakistan is deeply regrettable," it said.
The FO said the suspension of the cross-LoC trade adds to the economic hardship and further squeezes the segment of people who could modestly benefit from this facility.
"In our view, there are better ways of dealing with issues relating to implementation, if any, than resorting to unilateral suspension of important CBMs," the FO said.
"We urge India to refrain from taking unilateral measures and resolve differences through constructive engagement with a view to transitioning from conflict to cooperation," it added.
The LoC trade, at present, is conducted through two trade facilitation centres located at Salamabad in Uri of Baramulla district, and Chakkan-da-Bagh in Poonch district.
The action was taken upon the orders of the Home Ministry who received reports that the cross LoC trade routes were being used by the Pakistan based elements as channels to move illegal weapons, narcotics, fake currency and more.
The letter issued by the government of India reminded that the LoC trade is meant to facilitate the exchange of goods of that would be of common use to the local populations across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.
The report further stated that trade is allowed through two Trade Facilitation Centres located at Salambad, Uri, District Baramulla and Chakkan-da-Bagh, District Poonch. The trade occurs four days a week and is based on Barter system and zero duty basis.
However, the government received reports that suggested that the LoC trade funnel is being misused largely. It was revealed that the trade changed its nature into a third party trade and that the products from other regions, including foreign countries found its way through the route.