The residents in Rajouri, Poonch and Uri today said they hope for peace on the line of control after India and Pakistan reiterated commitment for ceasefire on borders.
“This is what we are demanding for years,” Zakir Hussain, a man from LoC’s Niaka Panjgrian village of Rajouri said.
“Ceasefire violation and cross-LoC firing and shelling is the biggest hurdle in our life and an end to this is like a dream coming true,” Zakir said.
Suresh Sharma, a man from Doongi LoC area of Rajouri said that firing and shelling is no solution for any problem.
“Firing and shelling only brings pain for civilians as well as for men in uniform and ceasefire on borders will bring an end to this all,” Sharma said.
“No one can understand the suffering of the people living in LoC areas who face loss every day,” said Javid Akhter, a man from Mendhar’s Balakote.
“Our family members die, our cattle perish, our houses are damaged and we spend nightmare lives amid firing and shelling,” Javid said.
He appealed to armies of both sides as well as governments to ensure that commitment made in DGMO level talks are implemented in letter and spirit.
For Arshad Ahmad, a resident of Churanda village in Uri, the announcement has brought cheer on the faces of thousands of people who had been living under the gaze of fear all along these years. “The effective ceasefire agreement is what we have been yearning for over a decade. It would ease our hardships and can prevent further collateral damage in the villages close to the line of control,” he said.
The Uri area of north Kashmir witnessed spurt in ceasefire violations during the last year. A local official said that more than 12 people including soldiers were killed in more than 36 ceasefire violations while hundreds of structures suffered damage.
The most deadly ceasefire violation recently was witnessed on Nov 13 last year in Kamalkote, when four civilians and two soldiers were killed while a civilian lost both his legs. The incident caused massive damage to the property as well, forcing locals to flee temporarily from the area.
In Kamalkote village, the locals here believe that the ceasefire agreement has come at a time when people here are still in shock and fear after the ceasefire violation of Nov 13. The ‘apprehensive’ locals here say that the fate of the ceasefire agreement will depend upon the friendly relation between the two countries, however, they wish it could bring permanent peace in the border villages.
“My relative Nadar Hussain lost both his legs in the Nov 13 ceasefire violation. Since then the family is going through pain and agony. We know the importance of such an agreement as we have passed through a lot of hardships,” said Fayaz Ahmad, a local resident of Kamalkote.