After the Pulwama terror attack, the NDA government withdrew the most favored nation status to Pakistan. Opposition parties slammed
the NDA government move saying it may worsen ties. However, the home ministry maintained that the character of LoC trade has changed: to mostly third-party trade and that products from other regions, including foreign countries, are finding their way through
this route and that unscrupulous and anti-national elements are using the route as a conduit for Hawala money, drugs, and weapons. The ministry further said these firms are under the direct control of Pakistan-based terror outfits.
Sources said most terrorists set up base at Rawalpindi in Pakistan and Muzaffarabad. For instance, Noor Mohd Ganai, who is living in Rawalpindi and running
a trading company called ‘AL Noor.’ Originally a resident of Beerwah village in Budgam, Ganai crossed over to Pakistan for arms training in the 1990s. He was conducting LoC trade through his company with the help of his brother Farooq Ahmad Ganai
who lives in Beerwah.
Sayeed Ajay Ahmed Shah alias Aizaz Rehmani, vice chairman of People’s League in Pakistan-occupied
Kashmir (PoK) is originally from Khanyar, Srinagar. Rehmani, who lives in Muzaffarabad, also crossed over to PoK for terror training in the 1990s.
“Rehmani’s brother-in-law Arshad Iqbal Shah alias Ashu is involved in cross LoC trade since 2010 through a company called ‘M/s MA trader’ located at Khwaja Bagh, Baramulla and has links with many LoC traders reportedly
involved in the drugs trade and Hawala transactions,” sources said. “Rehmani was the main supplier of PoK goods to Arshad Iqbal Shah through cross LoC trade at Salamabad, Uri. In 2016, Arshad Iqbal Shah was arrested by NIA and is presently
lodged at the Baramulla district jail. Mehrajuddin Bhat, originally a resident of Tral, crossed over to Pakistan and joined a militant group. He’s in Rawalpindi, and is running a trading company called ‘Mehrajuddin Traders’. His elder brother
Abdul Rashid Bhat is a registered LoC trader at Uri and operates through a company called ‘RBS Trading Firm. Khurshid, a resident of Srinagar, now lives in Islamabad and involved in LoC trade through a company called ‘M/S Khursheed and Sons, Muzaffarabad.’”
Another terrorist, Nazir Ahmed Bhat from Pampore, runs ‘New Kashmir Traders’ from Pakistan to finance illegal activities
in the Valley. Imtiyaz Ahmed Khan, who lives in Muzaffarabad runs two companies: ‘MIK Traders and M/S Imtiyaz Traders Muzaffarabad’. Originally from Budgam, Imtiaz crossed over to Pakistan and joined a militant group.
25 Apr 19/Thursday