As Director General (DG) Travel and Trade Authority, generally known as TATA, it is my privilege to introduce the Authority to the general public through this webpage. While thanking Almighty Allah I also take this opportunity to thank the worthy Prime Minister AJ&K, Raja Farooq Haider Khan and honourable Chief Secretary AJ&K, Dr Ijaz Munir, for reposing their confidence in selecting me as the DG of a very dynamic organisation. It is indeed a position of great honour as well as a big responsibility.

I also acknowledge the good efforts of my predecessors who built TATA from a tiny cell to a full-fledged Authority through their sheer hard work, dedication and commitment. It will be my earnest effort to take their good work forward and break new grounds in serving the people of Kashmir.

Ever since 1947 the Indo-Pak relations over Kashmir have seen various ups and downs. Though there have been various agreements and treaties between India and Pakistan however a systematic peace-process was never initiated till the idea of a “Composite Dialogue Process(CDP) which was articulated in the 1997. However the period from 1997-2004 was beset with too many crises in which no peace process could gain any momentum. However in April 2003, a step-by-step initiative towards normalization of relations through an agenda for confidence-building was taken. In this regard the most significant step was a ceasefire along the LOC initiated in November 2003. This brought a great relief for the people living close to LOC whose lives and properties were constantly subjected to hostile Indian shelling. Thereafter the process was incremental, covering the ground in small steps in the form of various Confidence Building Measures (CBM). These CBMs have remained intact in spite of periodic ups and downs in bilateral relations between both countries.

It is in this backdrop that in 2005 a Cell was established to facilitate travel of people across LOC to meet their separated kith and kin. With the commencement of Trade in 2008 the Cell was upgraded as an Authority working independently under its own law. Today TATA functions under the direct control of Government of AJ&K with its Head Office Located at Muzaffarabad. The honourable Chief Secretary, AJ&K, acts as the Chairman of the Authority. Despite all the procedural difficulties and limited scope for the travellers, approximately 34975 people have been able to travel across the LOC, while approximately 96000 trucks carrying 0.63 million tons of goods, have moved to and from IHK.

While Authority is trying its best to manage the travel and trade as per the original spirit of the CBMs, however it faces innumerable challenges. As DG it will be my endeavour to regulate the travel and trade in most effective and transparent manners through a process of computerising the data. It will also be my effort to resolve key issues faced by the passengers and trading community. For this purpose, I will try to develop close liaison with all stakeholders to facilitate a steady growth of travel and trade.

 

In the end I will request everyone to pray for the success of the Authority and its positive contributions towards peace and prosperity of the area.