India and Pakistan open trade route across Kashmir

October 21, 2008 07:55

Trucks laden with fruit, honey and spices from the verdant Kashmir Valley waited near the heavily armed frontier Tuesday as India and Pakistan prepared to open a trade route between the two sides of the divided Himalayan region for the first time in six decades. The opening of the trade route was meant to bolster a 2004 peace agreement between the South Asian rivals, which has appeared increasingly fragile in recent months amid dozens of cross border shootings and charges from New Delhi that Islamabad backed attacks in India. Separatists on the Indian side, who have stepped up demands for a trade route between Indian and Pakistani-controlled sections of Kashmir during recent mass protests against Indian rule, also hailed it as a victory.

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