New Delhi: India on Thursday issued an order to suspend cross LoC trade in Jammu and Kashmir. The action, which will come into effect from April 19, has been taken over reports of cross LoC trade routes being misused by Pakistan-based elements for funnelling illegal weapons, narcotics and fake currency etc.

“During ongoing probe of certain cases by NIA, it has been brought out that significant number of trading concerns engaged in LoC trade are operated by persons closely associated with banned terror organisations involved in fuelling terrorism/separatism,” the MHA order reportedly read.

Adding, it said, “So it’s decided to suspend LoC trade at Salamabad and Chakkan-da-Bagh in J&K. Meanwhile, stricter regulatory and enforcement mechanism is being worked out and will be put in place in consultation with various agencies. The issue of reopening of LoC trade will be revisited thereafter.”

It is to be noted here that the cross-LoC trade between the two nations started in 2005 and 2006 after several parleys.

The development comes in the wake of escalating tension between the two countries. India and Pakistan have been at loggerheads after 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans were killed in one of the worst terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama on February 14. The responsibility of the act was claimed by Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

In response to the the attack, India on February 26 carried out pre-emptive strikes on the terror launch pads of the JeM in Balakot of Pakistan, killing at least 300 terrorists.

Upping the ante against Pakistan earlier, India had also withdrawn the most favoured nation (MFN) status from its neighbour.