Ceasefire along LoC completes one year

Srinagar: Call it a dividend of peace, border residents are making the best of ceasefire between India and Pakistan at the Line of Control (LOC) which completed one year, here on Friday. There is no fear and residents are busy with their routine chores. While life in villages is quite normal, the security situation too has improved along the border.

“Those affected by cross border shelling only know the value of peace. We have suffered immensely and we always pray this ceasefire holds for all times to come and there is peace between India and Pakistan,” said Shabir Ahmad Nayak , Sarpanch Garkote in Uri.

“We the border residents appeal to both India and Pakistan to be like friends and love each other like brothers so that we prosper,” he added.

On February 25, 2021 India and Pakistan armies agreed on a ceasefire along the LoC, which was witnessing regular firing and shelling at that time. The figures tell the story. There were 4,645 ceasefire violations in 2020; 3,168 in 2019 and 1,629 CFVs in 2018.

In contrast, there were 592 CFVs last year till the commitment came into effect on February 25. In the Hajipir sector of Uri, the Sarpanch Haji Mohammad Haneif, who lives along the zero line said their families now sleep calmly and farming is being done peacefully.

“Life was terrible for us and our children during the shelling. We would never have a peaceful sleep. But now the ceasefire has made a huge change. We do our farming now even if we have to walk close to the LoC,” he said, adding that over the last year paddy, rice and maize fields are growing.

Alone in Uri sector, nearly 60 civilians have lost their lives and dozens were injured in the cross border shelling since 1990, besides, hundreds of residential houses were also razed to the ground. Due to the frequent shelling, people here were always under stress.

The ceasefire has allowed nature lovers to explore the beauty of border areas. The children can be seen playing in open fields due to the calm along the LoC. “Due to fear of shelling we used to play inside rooms,” said Romana Irshad, a student of class II.

Though schools have been shut for the last one year, the teachers say the ceasefire helped them even during online education. Farhan, a blogger and trekker said the ceasefire has helped them to explore Uri’s hidden beauty.

“After the ceasefire, we now explore new breathtaking scenic spots. And all this has become possible due to the ceasefire,” Farhan said.

In Uri and other border areas in Kupwara and Gurez there is hope for a better future in the days ahead but simultaneously they pray for Indo-Pak friendship as it is directly affects peace on the borders. (UNI)

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