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Is it really about who started it? Ceasefire violations on LoC and the IB, by India and Pakistan must stop immediately (Jt Statement by PIPFPD 3 Sept 2015)

3 September 2015

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Pakistan India Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy

Joint Statement

Is it really about who started it?

The Ceasefire violations on the LoC and the International Border, by India and Pakistan must stop immediately

September 3, 2015

The Indian government claims that there have been 45 violations of the 2003 ceasefire accord in August 2015 and over 240 ceasefire violations along the Indo-Pak border in 2015. The situation on both sides of the border is worsening. In the last few days especially, the situation has become extremely tense.

Along the 720 km long LoC, firing has been continuing in Poonch District, on the Indian side where around 41 villages with a population of 29000 people are located exactly on the LoC whereas, 73 villages out of total 178 with 1.46 Lakh population fall within the 5 km border belt including Poonch city and Mendhar town.

Both Pakistan and India claimed number of their civilians were killed and injured in the cross border firing from the other side.

We have reached a stage today that the lines written above have stopped drawing the attention of the governments of Pakistan and India. People on both sides of the border are affected by the ceasefire violations and demand an end to this ordeal. The question that remains is, if this is all about who really started it? Is it actually as simple as saying ‘they’ started it, hence ‘we’ are retaliating?

Speaking of the Indian side, the number of people displaced from the villages near the borders is huge. However, the government has nothing more to say besides “hum Pakistan ko karaara jawaab denge” (‘we will give them a befitting reply’) A fact finding report[1] released by the Pakistan India Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD), India Chapter earlier this year, highlights the kind of damages people have undergone and also looks at the existing ground situation. The report mentions that, the people living on the border have started accepting that the ‘karaara jawaab’ is the only way out.

Moreover, the report observes that whichever government comes, the situation of the people living here is going to remain fragile. It is stated in one of the testimonials that, “once the government even announced that they will allot 5 marlas of land to build alternate shelters away from the border to protect from the cross border firing as part of a Rs75 crore package announced by the UPA, but nothing has reached the villages yet. According to him the BJP government has come with a perfect answer –If they fire one bullet, fire back with 10. This is the only solution to give a ‘Karaara Jawab’ (fitting reply) to Pakistan.”

This befitting reply to either of the two countries is not an answer and is unacceptable. In fact, this kind of attitude is nothing but a show of strength which fuels unnecessary hostility and actually leads to actions that escalate loss of life and property. We demand that both countries stop the use of such language.

We demand that the ceasefire violations stop immediately and peace is restored.

We demand that appropriate and timely compensation must be paid to the victims of the ceasefire violations and people must be compensated for the damage to life, land, property, household, livestock and injuries.

Moreover, cancellation of talks at this crucial time is not an answer and a way forward. We urge you to immediately resume talks and come to a common ground for that. Posing conditions in front of each other to resume talks is unacceptable.

We hope you will uphold our right to peace and security in the region.

I A Rehman, Chairperson
Khwaja Wasim, General Secretary
PIPFPD (Pakistan Chapter)

Anuradha Bhasin Jamwal & Asha Hans, Co-Chairpersons
Jatin Desai, General Secretary
PIPFPD (India Chapter)

For Further Details Contact: pipfpd.india at gmail.com | M: 09869077718

[1] Preliminary Fact Finding report on “Effects of ceasefire violations on civilian population residing in the border areas of Jammu & Kashmir”. January 21, 2015. http://www.sacw.net/article10425.html