Avoid border tensions

Kashmir Times. Dated: 8/19/2019 1:01:42 AM

Nuclear-armed neighbours India and Pakistan should engage in dialogue process in the interest of peace

The recent spurt in border clashes leading to tensions between India and Pakistan on the International Border (IB) and Line of Control (LoC) in both regions of Kashmir and Jammu leading to deaths of civilians and injuries to many is a matter of serious concern. Loss of precious lives and injuring many other residents in the border firing incidents officially described by Indian army as ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops is unfortunate and tragic. It is all the more tragic that these villagers, who are mainly farmers living close to the IB and LoC due to fertile agricultural fields, have to face bullets and experience displacements from their homes and hearths every few years. Apart from this, the firing incidents which have been continuing for the past many months, have left many people dead and several injured for no fault of theirs. Moreover, the normal life of the people living close to borders has been disrupted with schools closed for the past days and people unable to come out of their homes for the fear of being hit by Pakistani bullets or mortars. Apart from this, media hype created over the border incidents by some of the electronic media and television channels has unfortunately dealt a severe blow to the tourism industry in J&K. The hype and fear created by the media has hit the tourism, which is the mainstay for the J&K's economy. Tourist season has been hit to a large extent and tourists have refused to come to Jammu or Kashmir due to the prevailing situation. Coupled with border incidents, the recent militant attacks allegedly involving militants from Pakistan in Punjab and J&K have also dealt a blow to the otherwise peace prevailing in J&K. The outcry by the media over these incidents has also affected the tourism industry in a big way for the past one year. The biggest casualty of the border firing incidents and pre-conditions put up by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, has been calling off talks at all level talks between the India and Pakistan, which were agreed to be resumed when the Prime Ministers of the two countries met in the recent past.
When the border incidents are adversely affecting the lives of the people on both side of the IB and LoC, the people are not happy with this status quo when they are disturbed by such situations. In the larger interest of ensuring peace on the borders, it is necessary that both the countries resume the stalled comprehensive dialogue process and sort out all the outstanding issues between them. The belligerent attitude on either side of dividing line has already cost the people of two nations heavily and in the 21st, this is an opportunity to move forward when other nations are planning to uplift their people from morass of poverty and socio-economic backwardness. Similarly, both India and Pakistan also have an opportunity to resolve their issues so that peace is ensured in the sub-continent particularly in the context that both the nations are nuclear powers. Already three major wars have been fought and several low intensity conflicts are still going on only to cost the people of the nation in terms of their precious lives and losing their homes and hearths for no fault of theirs. This has to be borne in mind that such conflicts have not allowed the people of the two nations to move forward on the path of development and progress because major spending of the government revenues has been going to defense. By engaging themselves in a dialogue process and ensuring peace on the borders and other areas can at least give a chance to people to breathe freely and share the joys of development and progress. If an understanding could be reached between the two nations towards the end of last century why can't this be worked out now, are the questions that bother the minds of the right thinking and peace loving people. Even as of today, no time is lost to pick up threads from where they were left when talks were called off last year due to border incidents and raising the heat of conflict between the two nations on the dividing line in which several people lost their lives. It is time to reconstruct the idea of lasting peace in the interest of the peoples of two countries.



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