Srinagar, Jun 11: Hundred days after the fresh ceasefire pact between India and Pakistani armies, people living close to the LoC in Kashmir have started to reap the peace dividends as special occasions, night-long neighbhourhood gatherings and marriage celebrations have returned after a many decades.
People living in villages close to LoC are heaving a sigh of relief and hoping that the “peace overtures” between the two armies would continue further and guns across the LoC would continue to remain silent. Pertinently, Director-General of Military Operations (DGMOs) of India and Pakistan agreed to adhere to all the ceasefire agreements along the borders in the Union Territory from the night of February 24 and 25 this year.
The LoC residents said that peace between the two neighbours has brought respite as they were spending every day and night under the constant fear of shelling and exchange of fire between India and Pakistani armies.
Nishada Parveen, Block Developmental Council (BDC) Teethwal, in Kupwara district, one of the places directly facing the neighboring country Pakistan, has suffered an immense loss in LoC shelling, said: “The recent agreement between the two countries has come as a huge relief for the people living in the proximity of ceasefire violation having suffered for past so many years.”
She said that people are living very peacefully at present and normal days have returned with no threat of getting killed or losing anything to the untimely shelling. “It is after so many years that normal marriages have returned to the borders with people experiencing the occasions like night long gatherings, small folk dances, singing programs, etc, full of joy without any fear.”
She said that before the agreement, special occasions were not meant for the people living in ceasefire-prone places since people used to be under constant threat of getting fired at and everything would get spoiled in just a matter of few minutes.
Shahid Ahmad, a Sarpanch of Nambla area in Uri of Baramulla district said that so far the situation is good and since the fresh agreement everything is very stable and people are at ease. “Marriage functions of people living close to the Line of Control (LoC) have returned to normal. There is singing, dancing, cultural programs and above all festivities without fear,” he said.
Aijaz Ahmad Khan District Development Council (DDC) member from Tulail in the Gurez sector said that people are living a very normal life since then everyone is happy with the decision as it is a relief for border residents. “The celebrations for special occasions including marriages, engagements, and other rituals, have returned with full of happiness and people are enjoying without any fear, which otherwise was missing earlier,” he said.
Chaudhary Imran Zaffer District Development Council (DDC) member from Mankote in the Pir Panjal region said that the recent agreements between the two nations is a welcome step and people living close to LoC are living at peace now.
“People were used to the untimely ceasefire violations and this had become a routine but special occasions are being celebrated after almost a decade now without fear of getting hit by shells or bullets,” he said.
It may be recalled that border shelling has killed hundreds of people in Kashmir and Jammu region since 1990, and left scores handicapped forever. Besides, houses and livestock worth billions of rupees have also been damaged as well due to the cross LoC shelling in J&K in the past 30 years.