Monday, April 9, 2012

India's launches its first integrated check post at Attari

ATTARI: India on Sunday soft launched its first Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Attari international land border. Three buses parked at the Zero Line picked up the passengers arriving from Pakistan and dropped them at passenger terminals at the post where they were provided with state of the art immigration and custom facilities in a friendly atmosphere.
The formal inauguration of the ICP is slated for April 13. A 32-member delegation of the Faislabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), Pakistan, arrived in India to explore new markets in the country and give a boost to trade between the two nations during the trial run of the ICP.
Talking to TOI , Abdul Queum, former president of Fsaid, "It is a lucky day, as not only have both the nations broken the ice and moved forward to provide better trading facilities but senior leaders of both the countries are also meeting today (Sunday)."
He said that strengthening economic ties would not only make both the nations economically strong but would also help improve people to people contact. "Giving MFN status to India is now just a matter of time, besides the negative list would also go when trade will pick up between the two countries," he added.
Chairman of FCCI, Jamail Ahmad said FCCI was honoured to be the first trade delegation from Pakistan to have arrived in India on the soft launch of ICP. He said both countries had wide markets and if wisely explored there were immense opportunities for businessmen of both nations. "Preparations for leaving for India was like a festival in Faislabad as many of the delegates have their roots in India, even my grandfather lived in Amritsar," he said.
He said the business delegates from Pakistan were hopeful that the meeting of Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari and Indian Prime Minster Manmohan Singh would be a milestone in the relations of the two nations. Abidullaha Sheikh, another business delegate said that he was impressed to see huge infrastructure at the ICP.
"At least the Pakistani visitors would go back with a good impression," he added. "Sath sath dosti bhi chalegi aur tijarat bhi chalegi" (Friendship and business will go side by side), said Pakistani businessmen Mohammad Nawaz.
Deputy Commissioner, Customs, R K Duggal said that during the soft launch on Sunday they only allowed passengers to enter ICP through the new gates constructed on the border from where they were ferried to the passenger terminals by buses. From Monday onwards he said they would have the trial run of carrying cargo through the new gates.

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