LoC skirmishes give sleepless nights to Uri residents

SPOTLIGHT

ALTAF BABA

Uri (Baramulla), Jan 16: For 70-year-old Shahabudin, a resident of Churanda village in this north Kashmir area—which has become a flashpoint between India and Pakistan in the wake of deadly skirmishes along the Line of Control—it is hard to believe that fording of a lady Reshma Bi could have provoked the armies of the two countries to enter into skirmishes. However, Reshma Bi’s reported fording has made the residents apprehensive on the possibility of a permanent peace along the Line of Control.
“I don't believe that someone crossing the border could lead to such an escalation. There have been instances in the past two decades when families in horde have crossed the Line of Control. But never have such things led to heightened escalation between the two countries,” says Shahabudin, as he sips tea at a local hotel here.
Knowing well the ongoing political developments between India and Pakistan, especially after the recent border skirmishes, Shahabudin is concerned over the failure of talks between the military officials of the two countries. “If this tension is not de-escalated forthwith, the coming days would be hard for us to live with,” he says. “We are at the mercy of the armies in the two countries. We don’t know when we could be hit by shells. But we can only pray that both the countries review their relations and allow us to feel a sigh of relief.”
Attaullah Handoo, a known businessman from Uri, says the tension between the two countires was not good for anyone. “Uri has witnessed tremendous surge in business activities after the start of trade between the two sides in 2008. The entire area gained a lot of attention after the travel between the two dividing sides resumed after many decades. However, the present tension is a matter of concern,” he says.
Asserting that the ceasefire between the two countries in 2003 led to ‘great prosperity’ in Uri in terms of business activities, Handoo is worried that if the two countries remain at loggerheads it would be a severe blow to the peace process between India and Pakistan.
Though, trade and travel via Uri has not been affected by the recent border skirmishes, the tension between India and Pakistan is giving the residents here sleepless nights. “We want to live at peace. We don’t want our business to suffer,” said a group of residents.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 16 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 16 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 17 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST




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