LoC: Line Of Control, Really? Then Us It! Kashmir-Jammu

My Philosophy On This Issue

This commentary is admittedly by a person who has never stepped foot in the region. My opinions formed are from thousands of miles away, formed by TV News slots and articles I have read. I look for only one thing, and that is peace. I look for the day that no one will ever need to defend themselves, because it is the day there is no such thing as an aggressor. I am realistic to the lack of love between segments of Pakistan and India. There has been bitter issues throughout the region for centuries, there is little love loss between many of the people who favor Islam and those who favor Hindu or even the Buddhist  Seventy years ago when India and Pakistan were formed it was a bitter and bloody divide.

 

As you probably know, most of the people on the Pakistan side of the LoC are people who believe in Islam. Also, almost all of the people on the India side of the LoC are Hindu. If the LoC has any real meaning, if it has been good enough for a temporary fix, cement the foundation in concrete and use it now, mark it with a forever marker. Here in the U.S. this would not be Constitutional but maybe there? Can the two governments work out a deal where all Hindu people in Pakistan are given free, peaceful, safe passage out of Pakistan to India on the India side of the LoC. India should do exactly the same thing, all of the people who are believers in Islam and would prefer to be citizens of Pakistan should go and do so. My suggestion for the leaders of Pakistan and of India, make the LoC, the final border between the two Countries. This is a harsh thing that I suggest I guess you call this segregation but in some cases of physical hatred, safety of all must come first. Learn to grow, to become peaceful neighbors and trading partners. Or, you can just go on as is, hating and killing, you, your wife, your kids. I pray that we can all find peace, before and after we die.

 

 

Hate And Fear For Villagers Living Near The ‘Line Of Control” (LOC)

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES)

 

An unending ordeal for Kashmiri villagers on ‘live’ Indo-Pak border

Villagers barely two to three kilometers away from the zero line and in the direct line of fire have witnessed maximum number of skirmishes and casualties.

INDIA Updated: Oct 05, 2017 08:10 IST

Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Hindustan Times, Allah/Arnia
Villagers say the tender minds of children, getting exposed to bloodshed and deaths at a young age, are left with a permanent scar.
Villagers say the tender minds of children, getting exposed to bloodshed and deaths at a young age, are left with a permanent scar.(Nitin Kanotra/HT File Photo)

More than 45,000 people across 42 villages and the most-populated border town of Arnia on Indo-Pak border in Jammu and Kashmir see themselves as sitting ducks for Pakistani artillery.

Some of the villages in Arnia sub-sector of Jammu district that witnessed skirmishes from September 13 to September 23 are barely two to three kilometres away from the zero line and are in the line of direct fire.

Guns on either side of 198-km long Indo-Pak international border fall silent intermittently, but villagers are sceptical of the fragile peace and live in a constant fear.

The two nuclear neighbours had agreed to a ceasefire in November 2003 but that now lies in tatters, as different parts of the line of control and the International Border whistle to the sound of mortar shelling. The arc has widened but Arnia remains in the constant gaze of Pakistan.

Artillery horror

Chuni Lal, 63, a marginal farmer in Allah village, who lost his wife Ratno Devi, 50, on the intervening night of September 16 and 17 to a Pakistani mortar, recounts the spine-chilling horror.

“Pakistan was raining mortars that night. All of us… my wife, two married sons, their wives and my six grand-children had huddled inside a room. Electricity had snapped after a mortar hit transmission lines. Around 2 am I shifted to an adjoining lobby as it was hot and sultry inside the room. Around 2.30 am my wife and daughter-in-law (Rajni Devi) came to lobby and had just opened the door when a mortar exploded with a deafening sound in our verandah. My wife’s left ankle was blown away and she suffered serious injuries in her abdomen too. Rajni was also bleeding profusely.”

Read more

Lal sought a neighbour’s help, who drove his car for nearly two hours to shift Lal, Ratno Devi and Rajni Devi to a hospital in Jammu city where Ratno died.

Besides Ratno Devi, a BSF jawan Brijendra Bahadur was killed and over a dozen villagers were injured in Arnia in Pakistani firing that began on September 13.

Lal’s two sons Om Prakash, 46, and Subhash Chander, 40, work as labourers and do petty jobs to support the family.

Traumatised children

Subhash’s wife Rajni Devi, who had suffered serious injuries, along with her two daughters Mamta, 15, Janvi, 13, and son Nitish, 9, have been living in a relative’s house in a safe village, away from Pakistan’s firing range and away from their school as well.

Pakistan had rained 82 mm and 120 mm mortars — battalion level low trajectory weapons — on hapless villagers.

“The children are traumatised from what they saw that night. They don’t want to return home and we also are apprehensive of this fragile peace. Death stalks us all the time but we don’t have any option” says Subhash.

Grim future

Forget children’s education, the people in the border belt of Arnia are deprived of a normal life, says Subhash.

In Arnia sub-sector, the state government has shut 33 government schools with a total enrolment of around 1500 students within five km radius of the border.

Read more

Fifty-year-old Gopal Dass, a small farmer in Allah village says, “Education is important, rather indispensable in present times but how could our children pursue it in such a hostile and uncertain atmosphere?”

Dass divulges another aspect of the shelling. “At very young age these children get exposed to loud explosions, bloodshed and deaths. It leaves a permanent scar on their tender minds but then who cares for the children of a lesser God?”

HT came across a group of small children aged between 5 to 12 years at Pindi Charakan village.

When asked why they weren’t in their schools, six-year-old Tannu replied, “Pakistan bomb chalata hai na. School band hain. Humko chupna padta hai. (“Pakistan bombs us. Schools are closed. We have to go into hiding during shelling).”

Farming hit hard

Another farmer Rattan Lal, 63, says, “While a family (of Chuni Lal) has been ruined, unexploded shells are still lying in the agricultural fields. The farmers are still not going to their fields because you never know when Pakistan starts firing at us. They cannot be trusted. Initially, heavy shelling destroyed our paddy crop, especially in the fields beyond barbed fence (towards Pakistani territory), and now out of fear, we are not able to irrigate whatever is left.”

Lal, like several other villagers, feels that they are caught in a Catch-22 situation. Farming, by and large, is the major source of livelihood in the border areas.

Thoru Ram, 56, informs that though there has been no firing since September 23, the BSF as a precautionary measure, was not allowing farmers to go to their fields beyond the barbed fence.

“Farmers on other side (in Pakistan) are also not coming to their fields,” he says.

7,000 people, one bunker

Allah village with a population of 7,000 has only one bunker where an optimum of 30 people can take refuge during shelling.

The villagers dubbed it a cruel joke as water seeps in and fills almost half the bunker during monsoons. “It turns into a pool of water and is of no use. The government has spent Rs 5 lakh on it but it would have been far better and practical had the government constructed individual bunkers in the houses of the villagers,” says Thoru Ram, 56.

“When mortars are being rained, how could one think of reaching one corner of the village to get into the bunker? I think government of the day should apply some mind,” he mocks.

In Rajouri district, hundred bunkers are being constructed while the state government has submitted a proposal to the Centre for constructing 621 community bunkers at a cost of Rs 6 lakh each and 8,197 individual bunkers at a cost of Rs 2.40 lakh each.

Pakistan’s arc of fire

Since May 1, when Pakistani Border Action Teams killed and beheaded two Indian soldiers — JCO Paramjit Singh and BSF head constable Prem Sagar — in Krishna Ghati (KG) sector of Poonch district, there has been no let up in Pakistani firing and shelling in Rajouri and Poonch border districts.

In Nowshera sector of Rajouri, incessant Pakistani shelling triggered migration of over 4,000 villagers to six relief camps in Nowshera town in May.

Pakistan also opened other fronts along the international border in Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts from August onwards.

“It has been a pattern of the enemy (Pakistan). During summers when there is no snow on the mountains and passes, Pakistan tries to push terrorists via LoC in Poonch and Rajouri districts and in winters their focus shifts to international border in Jammu region, usually Hiranagar, RS Pura, Arnia and Ramgarh. In the process they adopt all ploys of opening unprovoked fire on our posts and then flaring up the situation by targeting villages,” says a senior Army officer.

A police officer said that Arnia, the largest border town of the state just three km from the border is a soft target for Pakistan. The town has a population of nearly 20,000.

“They (Pakistan Rangers) are known for targeting hapless villagers and they know it is thickly populated,” the officer adds.

However, defence officials say there are other reasons, which can’t be shared in public domain.

Pakistan has no option but to stop ceasefire violations

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES)

 

Pakistan has no option but to stop ceasefire violations, says Rajnath Singh

Even as frontier villagers continue the bear the brunt of Pakistani ceasefire violations, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh says Islamabad must eventually stop firing at Indian villages.

INDIA Updated: Sep 12, 2017 00:07 IST

Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Hindustan Times, Jammu
File photo of Indian soldiers near the Line of Control (LoC) in Nowshera sector in Poonch after a ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops.
File photo of Indian soldiers near the Line of Control (LoC) in Nowshera sector in Poonch after a ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops. (PTI)

Union home Rajnath Singh on Monday warned Islamabad to mend its ways and stop firing at Indian posts and villages along the 744 km long Line of Control and 198- km long International Border in Jammu and Kashmir.

Singh’s warning followed the latest ceasefire violation by the Pakistani army in Shahpur Kerni sector of Poonch district in the morning.

Addressing displaced border villagers at a relief camp in Nowshera town in Rajouri district, Singh said that he had told the BSF DG in 2014 that “we shouldn’t fire first but if they (Pakistani forces) fire even a single bullet then there should be no count of bullets from our side.”

He was accompanied by Union minister Jitendra Singh and Jammu and Kashmir deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh.

“The situation has improved from what it was in 2014 after security forces were authorised to retaliate strongly. It will improve further in the days to come. Pakistan has no option but to stop ceasefire violations today or tomorrow. I assure all of you that situation will improve in the coming days,” he said.

Read more

Singh said he had told the director general of border-guarding force Pakistan Ranger in 2015 that Pakistan was resorting to firing violating certain protocols which should be respected and followed.

“India today is not a weak country anymore. It is a changed country under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi. The world today has started acknowledging India as a force to reckon with. India’s image has changed across the world today,” he asserted.

Nowshera is the place from where the Indian army had launched its surgical strikes on September 29 last year on terror launch pads in Bhimber Gali area across the LoC.

Read more

But since May this year, over 4000 people have been displaced from several villages along the LoC in Nowshera sector following several ceasefire violations by Pakistani forces.

These displaced people have been living in six relief camps. During their interaction with Singh, the migrants demanded that “bunkers” be set up at their homes along the LoC.

“Our first and foremost demand is that the government should set up bunkers in each of the border houses if we have to live again along the LoC. We need bunkers more than food,” Jangarh resident Parshottam Kumar, the president of the Border Migrants Coordination Committee, told Singh.

The home minister heaped praise on the border villagers describing them “strategic assets” of the country.

“Though no amount of money can ever compensate a human life, it was our government that raised the ex-gratia to the next of kin of those who die in Pakistani firing from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh. Those with more than 50% disability are also entitled for RS 5 lakh compensation,” he said.

Rajnath Singh said that the country was indebted to the border residents. He said he would ensure that 60% posts were kept reserved for the youth of border areas in recruitment drive for various central police and paramilitary forces.

The home minister began a four-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir on September 9 as part of an exercise to find solutions to the problems that the state faces.

(With PTI inputs)

Kashmir: Chief Minister Wants J & K To Be A Bridge Of Peace Between India And Pakistan

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE KASHMIR TIMES NEWS SERVICE)

KT NEWS SERVICE
JAMMU, Dec 1: Peoples Democratic Party president and the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today asserted that the fundamental objective of the party had been to work for making Jammu & Kashmir a bridge of peace between India and Pakistan and build trust between the state and the Centre.

She asked the party cadre to work for achieving the said objectives with all seriousness.

Addressing the General Council meeting of the party here today, Mehbooba said people of Jammu & Kashmir had seen worst of times and PDP, ever since its inception, had been striving for creating a congenial atmosphere to ensure a durable peace, stability and development in the state besides ensuring dignity and honour of its people.

The Chief Minister said the people of the state had been the biggest beneficiaries of peace process between the two countries and unfortunately worst victims of hostility between the two countries. Terming dialogue as the only way forward for minimising hostilities, the Chief Minister said, “We have to go back to the vision and roadmap of late Mufti Mohammed Sayeed which underscores the need for dialogue and discourse for taking Jammu & Kashmir out of the present situation and building a permanent bond of amity between the two neighbouring countries.”

Mehbooba said PDP committed itself to the vision of Mufti Mohammed Sayeed and the agenda of peace and dignity set by him for the welfare of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. She said the party would continue to carry forward his mission for dignified place to the people of J&K living in all its region and ensuring peace, justice, development and reconciliation.

The party president said PDP reiterated its resolve to once again create an atmosphere congenial to the revival of political process to take Jammu & Kashmir out of the present turmoil. She hoped that from the events of the recent past the state would re-emerge with its trademark resilience and would soon be firmly back on the track of economic reconstruction and strengthening of democratic institutions, which the party had always deemed essential for the solution of state’s problems.

The Chief Minister said her party condemned and rejected use of violence in any form as a means of achieving any goals. She said the recent unfortunate happenings not only resulted in the loss of many precious lives and destruction of property but had also given set back to the process of reconciliation and dialogue. The Chief Minister said the party, however, valued maintenance of communal harmony throughout the state even in moments of provocation and termed it as a land mark addition to the state’s history of tolerance and mutual respect.

She expressed deep concern at the violence along the LoC and the International Border which resulted in tremendous loss to life and property and caused dislocation to large section of the population living in border areas and called for de-escalation on both sides to give peace a chance. She hoped the national leadership, especially the Prime Minister would continue to spearhead the movement for peace and reconciliation started by him in spite of the unfortunate disruptions in the follow-up and attempts to derail it.

The PDP president reiterated her commitment to creation of an atmosphere which would help reconciliation and engagement of all the stake holders of the state and cooperation of all the well wishers of the state including political parties, community leaders, intellectuals and the youth in the larger interests of the state and the region.

Earlier in his welcome address, general secretary, Mohammed Sartaj Madni asked the party cadre to work with zeal for fulfilling the party’s agenda of development and political reconciliation in the state.

In his speech, general secretaries Nizamuddin Bhat and Mehboob Iqbal also addressed the meeting and highlighted the role of the party. The meeting was also addressed by several ministers, legislators, district presidents and zonal presidents.

News Updated at : Friday, December 2, 2016

Here Is The Solution To The Kashmir Conflict: Both Parties Do This And The Conflict Is Over!

(HERE IS THE SOLUTION TO THE KASHMIR CONFLICT: BOTH PARTIES DO THIS AND THE CONFLICT IS OVER)

I am going to write this article as a ‘Medium’! I have never been able to afford a trip to Kashmir and my health these days would never allow me to go even if I could afford to do so. I am basing my decision on the plethora of articles that have been written on the area and the conflict that has been raging there for years. Some of the articles were written by professional News Paper Reporters but most have been written by tourist and by people whom have lived there at different points in their lives. There are a few reasons that I believe that a person like me is qualified to write this article whether you think so or not and I will explain them to you now. I am a person who has absolutely nothing to gain or to lose concerning the conflict there. I know no one there and I have no business interest there, I am simply an unconnected observer who simply wants peace for all people on both sides of the issue. The other thing is that I am totally honest and unbiased, I am not against either Nation, I only wish peace and prosperity for all people on both sides. Also, I am a Christian, I am not Hindu nor am I a believer of Islam I have no ties at all to India nor to Pakistan.

 

In compromises the results are usually that neither side is overjoyed nor is either side really over the top mad. You gain and you lose in a good compromise. In this case I am going to bring up two main results of my compromise that are directly aimed at both sides equally. First though, all sides of the current (LoC) Line of Control must at once stop all aggression toward everyone. Doing this does many things, first and foremost it helps keep the soldiers and civilians alive and uninjured on both sides of this Line of Control. If all offensive actions stop the people of the region can once again open their stores and factories and be allowed to walk their streets in safety. This constant state of aggression does nothing positive for the citizens on either side of this ‘border’. If your side of the border has ‘militants’ who refuse to quit trying to kill people then the government and the soldiers from that side of the border must neutralize these aggressors at once. Neither side can allow a hand full of hate filled animals to start a full-blown war with your neighbors. Whether it is soldiers or militia units the government must make it plain that any aggressors will be put in prison for the rest of their lives, or executed if they continue to try to cause this war. If this is implemented on both sides, there is no more violence on either side of the (LoC).

 

I am going to address the issue of the Kashmir Border with you now. This conflict between India and Pakistan has resulted in nothing but death to soldiers and civilians on both side for years now, the conflict is not a positive issue for the people on either side. The Leaders of both Countries must step up and order a total stop of all aggression, if they are Leaders then they both need to act like it. I am going to suggest that the ‘unmovable Border’ be exactly where the ‘Line of Control’ is right now. Both sides have been dealing with this line in the sand for years now, make this line the official Border right now! This concept is sort of like the issue with the two Korea’s. There was a long bloody war where the Armies fought up and down that peninsula for years causing the death of thousands of soldiers and civilians until they finally settled on a Border at the 38 parallel that is also called the DMZ or demilitarized zone. That conflict is more about nonreligious ideologies of freedom and Capitalism or Communism and no freedom. Your conflict goes back to the time of Mr. Gandhi when you became two Nations instead of just one. Your conflict is now and was then about your Religions, Hindu and Islam. Pakistan was created because the Islamic people who lived in India wanted their own Islamic Nation once India was freed from the British Crown in 1948. That was almost 70 years ago and yet people are still dying there. Each side blames the other, one side shells the other and kills a few people so the other side will retaliate and does the same thing. The Political Leaders and the Military Leaders must call a total truce on both sides and they must punish any of their own who break this truce at once, they must not tolerate anyone who breaks the truce. For the good of your own people the Leaders on both sides must grow up right now or this conflict will last forever or until both sides blow each other off the map with their nukes and what would that event profit any of you, you will all be dead!

Kashmir Suffering Due To Indo-Pak Tensions: Erdogan (Is This Where You Say ‘No-Duh?)

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDU TIMES NEWS PAPER)

INTERNATIONAL » SOUTH ASIA

Updated: November 17, 2016 16:52 IST

Kashmiris suffering due to Indo-Pak tensions: Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif listen to their national anthems, during a ceremony in Islamabad on Thursday. Mr. Erdogan, who is in Pakistan on a two-day official visit, later discussed the K-issue with Mr. Sharif and advocated bilateral talks to solve the tangle.
AP

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif listen to their national anthems, during a ceremony in Islamabad on Thursday. Mr. Erdogan, who is in Pakistan on a two-day official visit, later discussed the K-issue with Mr. Sharif and advocated bilateral talks to solve the tangle.

Says the escalating situation “can no longer be ignored,” advocates bilateral dialogue to solve the K-tangle

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday said the suffering of Kashmiris due to escalating India-Pakistan tensions “can no longer be ignored” as he called on the two countries to resolve the Kashmir issue through dialogue.

Mr. Erdogan, who arrived here on Wednesday, made the remarks after he held detailed talks with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

They discussed the K-word

Addressing a joint press conference, the Turkish President told the media that during his one-on-one meeting with Mr. Sharif that they talked about the situation in Kashmir.

“Our brothers and sisters in Kashmir are suffering because of escalating tensions along the Line of Control (LoC) and Kashmir, which can no longer be ignored,” Mr. Erdogan said. He stressed on the importance of dialogue to address the thorny issue.

“The Kashmir issue needs to find a resolution for itself following a dialogue between Pakistan and India,” Mr. Erdogan said.

Thanks Pakistan

The Turkish President thanked Pakistan for siding with Ankara’s elected government during a failed coup bid earlier this year. “Soon after the failed coup attempt in Turkey, I received a phone call from President Mamnoon Hussain and we discussed a possible response to the development,” he said.

Mr. Erdogan also lambasted what his government has termed the Fethullah Terror Organisation (Feto) for allegedly supporting the coup and said it was a threat to other countries.

“We are in the process of warning all of our friends and countries [against Feto] across the globe with whom we have solidarity,” he said.

Mr. Erdogan also welcomed Pakistan’s decision to expel dozens of teachers and staff of Turkish schools in Pakistan which were controlled by Fetullah.

Keywords: ErdoganSharifKashmir

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