Ground Report | New Delhi: Ceasefire on LOC Kashmir; Marks the first anniversary of the renewal of the 2003 ceasefire agreement between Pakistan and India. The surprise repetition of a ceasefire agreement by the two neighbours from midnight of February 24 last year came as a major relief to the people of border areas along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.
In September 2016, the armies of the two countries clashed several times after “surgical strikes” in five different locations in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. Meanwhile, after the Line of Control was bombarded from both sides, the citizens faced severe hardship and suffered heavy loss of life and property.
The officials stationed in the northern Kashmir border areas, including Gurez, Uri, Karnah-Tangdhar, say that since the ceasefire agreement came into force, an atmosphere of peace has prevailed in the border areas. “Forgetting the horrible bombings, people are now on the path of progress,” they said, adding that their demands are being met as far as progress is concerned.
The residents of Uri, are happy with the resumption of the agreement and want it to continue. Following the renewal of the ceasefire agreement, life around the Line of Control began to return to normal. Educational and commercial activities were revived, and the tourism industry, which had been in decline for many years, began to flourish again.
Farooq Khatana, a citizen associated with the tourism sector, said that the tourism industry has improved a lot in the past year.
He said: “The ceasefire in the LOC over the last year if viewed in the context of tourism, has seen a significant increase in tourism. Not only has business on both sides of the LOC flourished, but business in general, especially tourism, has grown.
Farooq added: “Kashmiris from both sides are happy that the ceasefire agreement is a good decision and we are hopeful that the ceasefire agreement will be extended in the future.” (Ceasefire on LOC Kashmir)
Locals said that after the ceasefire, normality was restored in the area, people began to rebuild their houses that were destroyed during the shooting, and educational and commercial activities in the area were restored.
“It’s been a year since the bombing,” he said. Our children study properly, our lives are quiet. When there are bombings, we are also affected, the children are also affected. They don’t know how to read, they don’t know how to read.
He added: “They told us that the government was going to make us a front (security bunker) but nobody came to us to make a bunker. Of course, don’t give us fronts, give us peace. There should be no bombing in our area because it keeps our children illiterate.
According to the official figures, there were 4,645 ceasefire violations in 2020, 3,168 in 2019 and 1,629 in 2018. In 2020, till the agreement came into effect, there were 592 ceasefire violations.
The security forces have attributed the less infiltration attempts from across the LoC in the past year to the ceasefire as well.