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India-Pakistan ceasefire: Residents of Jammu and Kashmir border district thank centre India-Pakistan Ceasefire

India-Pakistan ceasefire: Residents of Jammu and Kashmir border district thank centre

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 28 Feb 2021, 10:11 pm

Rajouri: People living in the border areas of Jammu and Kashmir around the Line of Control (LoC) have expressed happiness after India and Pakistan announced recently that both sides decided to cease firing along the LoC and all other sectors.

Haji Mohd Shafi Naib, Sarpanch of the Pukharni village in Rajouri, described the grim conditions of the people in the village, saying that many used to be terrified to leave their homes due to constant fear.

“We used to be terrified to leave our houses. People rarely left their homes to go to work and schools have been closed for over a year and a half because we didn’t want our children to leave the house. I can point out several houses that have bullet holes on doors and walls. I am grateful to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his consideration for the people living in the border areas,” he told ANI.

He added, “I want to thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for their decision. We have lost several villagers to cross-border firing and many have lost legs, hands and eyes."

"Now, we can finally sleep and work in peace,” he added.

Another woman, Sharifa Begum who lost her older brother to a firing at the border told ANI, “I am glad that I can now start a new life and feel safe in my home. We are very grateful to the Modi government for the decision. I lost my older brother to such firing incidents a few years ago. Now my children and I can sleep in peace and focus on their education.”

Reviewing the prevailing situation along the Line of Control (LoC), the Armies of India and Pakistan have agreed for strict observance of all agreements, understandings and cease firing along the LoC and all other sectors with effect from midnight February 24-25.

Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMO) of Indian Army  Lieutenant General Paramjit Singh and his Pakistani counterpart have held discussions over the established mechanism of hotline contact on Thursday.

“The two sides reviewed the situation along the Line of Control and all other sectors in a free, frank and cordial atmosphere,” a joint statement issued on Wednesday said.

“In the interest of achieving mutually beneficial and sustainable peace along the borders, the two DGsMO agreed to address each other’s core issues and concerns which have propensity to disturb peace and lead to violence,” the statement further said.

Both sides reiterated that existing mechanisms of hotline contact and border flag meetings will be utilised to resolve any unforeseen situation or misunderstanding.

India and Pakistan signed a ceasefire agreement along the Line of Control (LoC) in 2003, but the violation of the agreement has been frequent in recent years.

A Reuters report citing a source said the cessation was partly aimed at easing the troubles of the people living on both sides of the LoC who are frequently caught in the firing.

The surprise developent comes at a time whe India is engaged on the standoff with China in Ladakh sector of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) though there has been no decrease in coumter-terrorism activities by the Indian Army in Jammu and Kashmir.