100 DAYS OF CEASEFIRE
Churunda (Uri), June 10: As the ceasefire completes 100 days, Churunda village of Uri along Line of Control (LoC) is witnessing calm and people are busy in daily chores praying that the ongoing ceasefire becomes permanent.
The border residents living here along the LoC see the ceasefire as a rekindling of hope among the people who have been living under a constant fear of firing and shelling.
The ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan is showing results as per the latest statistics which depict that March, April and May did not witness even a single incident of cross-firing along the International Border as well as the Line of Control.
According to sources in the security establishment, this year, a total of 66 cross-border firing incidents have taken place but all such incidents took place in the first two months - 44 in January and 22 in February.
“We hope both the countries keep the promise of not firing at each other,” said MukhtaKhatana, one of the village heads.
Churunda village has been one of several affected areas due cross-border shelling in the past.
“The past 100 days were peaceful and we have heaved a sigh of relief,” Khatana said.
Several residents around the tumultuous area have suffered due to tensions between the two countries, and many have lost limbs, eyes, and other body parts.
The residents said that they used to be terrified to leave their houses.
People rarely leave their homes to go to work and point at several houses that have bullet holes on doors and walls.
The residents have suffered a lot to due to cross-border firing and shelling. “Education of our kids was affected, houses were damaged and there have been casualties,” said a group of villagers out in fields for farming. “The fresh agreement of maintaining complete ceasefire is rekindling hope among us and we hope it stays.”
They are all thankful to the central government for this decision.
“We want both India and Pakistan to behave as good neighbours by ensuring zero firing from their sides,” said Muhammad Sidiq, a government employee.
“Now farmers are fearlessly cultivating their land on the border and life here is much better,” he said.
Feeling happy over the ceasefire accord, the residents pray that it should be a permanent ceasefire.
“The ceasefire has brought a lot of respite to us. We can now move freely from our dhoks (huts) and do normal chores without any threat of getting hit by bullets, mortars and artillery shells,” said AbsharGujjar, another resident of Churunda.
He said that the administration should take this opportunity to construct underground bunkers so that the villagers can take refuge in them in case of outbreak of hostilities in the future.
Abdul Karim, another resident of the village, said if there was no shelling, they could do farming and graze their cattle.
He had lost three of his relatives in cross-LoC shelling.
A senior Army officer posted in Uri sector said that neither India nor Pakistan had violated the ceasefire understanding since February 25.
“For the past 100 days there has been no violation from any side,” he said. “However, we are not lowering the guard along the LoC.”