With rising incidents of ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the Line of Control, residents of villages on the border in Poonch district are scared and apprehensive.
“The border villagers are fearing a collapse of the ceasefire agreement which reached in November, 2003 between India and Pakistan,” said Aijaz Kazmi, a journalist in Poonch.
Tension between India and Pakistan has been mounting after Pakistani soldiers killed two Indian soldiers and beheaded one of them.
Ten ceasefire violations by Pakistan have taken place this year, while in 2012 the number was 117 against 61 in 2011. The firing by Pakistan across the LoC is mainly to cover to the infiltrating militants.
Hashim Din, 75, of Khari village near Poonch, about 250 km north-west of Jammu, said,
“Before the ceasefire agreement, our lives were like those of animals. The firing would kill people and our cattle, and would also damage our homes.” Due to heavy firing before 2003, they would not till their fields, which had turned barren. They lived in mud houses, which were cheaper to build, instead of concrete ones due to frequent firing.
A senior civil administration officer in Poonch, requesting anonymity, confirmed the fear and apprehension in people living near the LoC.