Published in pipfpd.org website ::
The ceasefire violations and firing taking place on the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir is a matter of grave concern. India and Pakistan are blaming each other for ceasefire violations and cross border firing that began on the night of Wednesday (October 1st) and is continuing till date.
According to reports published in Indian and Pakistani news papers, more than 18 civilians have been killed and about 60 persons have been injured – in this recent spate of ceasefire violations. While India claims that Pakistani troops violated ceasefire in the Poonch sector on October 1st, Pakistani side claims that on Sunday October 5, the Indian troops violated the Line of Control (loC) ceasefire and resorted to unprovoked firing in Jandroot Sector near Kotli. The Indian side alleged that Pakistani forces shelled the village of Arnia about three kms from the border on 6th. The violence has engulfed almost the entire Line of Control (LoC) from Krishna Ghati (KG) sector to Mankote, Balakote, Keriand even Bhimber Gali (BG). With Pakistani and Indian troops resorting to weapons fire and mortar shelling, thousands of villagers have been displaced.
Far away from the international border the waters of the Indian Ocean and the fishing activity their have been severely impacted by the increased number of orchestrated arrest of fishermen by India and Pakistan. In last one week Pakistan has caught 22 Indian boats and arrested around 125 Indian fishermen. Indian authorities have also arrested six Pakistani fishermen and one boat. This goes on to prove that the tension on the border is directly impacting fishing communities of both the countries.
With elections round the corner in key Indian states including J&K and the domestic turmoil in Pakistan, ‘border nationalism’ is being resorted to by both nations. The wars and military actions have yielded nothing but death, destruction and misery for the people of divided Jammu and Kashmir.
The experience shows that the dispute will not be resolved through use of military means and can only be resolved through political dialogue based on mutual trust.
- We appeal to both India and Pakistan to urgently stop ceasefire violations and implement ceasefire agreement in letter and spirit.
- We urge immediate restoration of “flag meetings” and contacts between the Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) of India and Pakistan.
We call upon the governments of India and Pakistan to allow the United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to play an active role in monitoring the ceasefire. UNMOGIP is meant to supervise ceasefire line established under Karachi Agreement in 1949. Joint monitoring of the border is the best option in the prevailing situation. It is required at this point that a team of UNMOGIP brings out a status report after visiting affected areas on both sides of the border.
- A team of senior reporters on both sides must hold visits to the border villages and help bring normalcy to the situation. We urge the media and journalists, reporting in India and Pakistan, to withhold from the one-sided reporting and trading of allegations.
We believe restoration of dialogue and peace talks at the highest level alone can bring back normalcy and peace to the thousands of suffering people, living in border areas and also the fisherpeople who have been a casualty to this increased hostility.
Anuradha Bhasin Jamwal & Asha Hans – Co-Chairpersons
Jatin Desai – General Secretary