Lahore : The Pakistan-India Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD), a civil society organisation that has been working for peace and understanding between the two South Asian neighbours since 1994, is deeply concerned over the escalation of cross border firing across the Line of Control in Jammu & Kashmir. Quite a few civilians and soldiers have been killed on both sides in the ongoing firing and shelling.
It seems all these firings are being carried on by both the governments for internal reasons, to satisfy specific constituencies of jingoistic nationalism, and offer little diplomatic advantage to either side.
The civilians living in the border villages are the worst victims as they live in constant fear of death and destruction. Schools have been shut in these areas and students are deprived of studies. All families are facing mental trauma. The hard reality is they cannot go to any ‘safer areas’ as the harvesting season is on.
We sincerely appeal to both the governments to take urgent steps to reduce the tension and end all cross border firing. Any escalation of tension is against the interest of both states and the common people. It is time Directors-General of Military Operations (DGMOs) of the two countries assumed a pro-active role and used their hotlines to prevent any firing across the line of control.
We also request both the governments to immediately resume their dialogue as it is the only way to bring peace to the region. The dialogue must be uninterrupted and uninterruptible and should cover all issues including terrorism.
Jointly issued by Dr Mubashir Hasan, I. A. Rehman, Mohammad Waseem from the Pakistanchapter of PIPFPD and Prof Asha Hans, Anuradha Bhasin, Jatin Desai and Tapan Bose from the Indian Chapter.