Kashmir Institute of Economics operates under the umbrella of Azad Jammu & Kashmir University. Its curriculum and research programs are uniquely aligned to current and future contextual needs of AJ&K in specific and Pakistan in general. For the institute, improving cross LoC trade is an important research topic with its economic as well as social implications. To this spirit, the Kashmir Institute of Economics has organized various activities. In 2011, a comprehensive thesis on 21-items trade between Azad Kashmir and Indian occupied Kashmir has been completed. To enhance our work in this area, the Vice Chancellor of the university has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mercy Corps regarding Intra Kashmir Trade in April 2012. This collaboration aims to Foster Intra-Kashmir Trade through Research and Capacity Building of concerned Stakeholders.
Mercy Corps is an international non-profit, non-government, non-religious organization with the mission to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities. Since its inception in 1979, Mercy Corps has provided $2.2 billion in assistance to people in 114 countries. In Pakistan, it started working in 1986 through humanitarian assistance for Afghan refugees of Balochistan. Since then, its activities have expanded throughout the country and benefited millions of people through varying nature of interventions. Today, it is working in various regions to improve access to healthcare, expand public facilities like water & sanitation and increase economic opportunities for conflict affected population.
Among the multitude of projects that Mercy Corps is working on, its intra-Kashmir trade project aims to support Pakistan Government’s decision to contribute to economic development in AJ&K through cross-LoC (Line of Control) trade. In this joint venture between Azad Jammu & Kashmir University and Mercy Cops, Mercy Corps is providing financial and project management support whereas Kashmir Institute of Economics is offering technical expertise and local support for research, disseminate its findings and build capacity of concerned stakeholders.