Expressing concerns over ceasefire violations on the India-Pakistan border, a peace group said on Tuesday this not only claims precious lives on both sides but also impacts peace and stability in the entire South Asian region.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Pakistan-India Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD) said the border skirmishes signal deterioration of relations and encourage an endless vicious cycle of violence. The statement is signed by PIPFPD India Co-Chairpersons Anuradha Bhasin and Asha Hans and General Secretary Jatin Desai.
PIPFPD condemns the killings, the rising incidents of 2003 ceasefire agreement violations and the ongoing cross-border firings.
The statement mentions January 2018 as having witnessed “a record number of cross-border firings and casualties”. This severely impacts people on both sides of the Line Of Control and the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir.
Border clashes have hit children hard as schools are shut, farmers have lost crops and civilians have been voluntarily or forcibly evacuated, says the statement. “Instead of trying to ease the tensions, officials from both countries are belligerently blaming each other”.
Advising the political leadership on both sides to take serious and sensitive initiatives to de-escalate violence on their borders, PIPFPD urges members of the armed forces to refrain from making statements that evoke jingoism.
PIPFPD calls upon the DGMOs of both sides to urgently meet and resolve to stop cross-border firings and implement the ceasefire pact in toto.
It also urges the Indian government to initiate a dialogue with all stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir.
The peace group calls for a meeting between the Foreign Ministers of both countries to re-initiate the stalled process of dialogue and resume it at the highest level.