Yet against the skirmishes on the Line of Control and on the International Border is reminding us of Jammu and Kashmir’s fragile peace. It is not only insurgency hit Kashmir but entire border state except Ladakh suffering the hostilities of India and Pakistan.
On Sunday four army men and two civilians were killed in cross border firing by Pakistan in Jammu region on International Border triggering a massive outrage countrywide. The state assembly of Jammu and Kashmir which is in session in Jammu region only also witnessed bedlam.
The members from the BJP which is also a coalition partner with the PDP sought a resolution from the House to condemn the attack from Pakistan which inflicted the causalities on Indian side. NC legislator Devander Singh Rana, who is senior leader of the main opposition National Conference sought a roadmap from J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to ease the tension on borders and on the LoC to ensure security for common people.
The situation in the House turned tricky for the PDP, prompting one of its legislators from Baramulla Javed Huassan Baig to speak out. Baig said that the resolution in the House to condemn attack by Pakistan may provoke the country more; however, the House shall pass the resolution and urge Pakistan to stop attacking on this side.
The attack is possibly an avenge from the Pakistan since it has also lost its four army men in the Indian firing two weeks ago on the borders. While there is no winner of the game in these skirmishes with only political leaderships from both sides politicizing it for brownie points, the people of Jammu and Kashmir are the worst sufferers. Hundreds of families have been displaced in the border areas since last few decades in the state owing to cross border firing.
The ceasefire violations are an order of the day now. Even few days ago the state government revealed that 25 people in last 2 years have got killed in cross border firing in state while 162 people have been injured. It further maintained that 224 houses are destroyed in the border skirmishes. If we go through the data on the other side the situation of people may not be different.
People on the borders of both sides have seen the worst yet there is no end to their tragedies. More than the physical injuries, they have been living in the perpetual fear and mental trauma throughout their lives. As if it was their fault to be born in the border region. They too deserve the decent and dignified life to live.
They too desire to prosper and progress and become part of inclusive growth. It is the high time for both the countries to track the path of reconciliation and get closer to each other and fight the challenges together hurting the progress of sub continent. Lessons can be learnt from the Europe which have abolished its all borders and have offered a free zone to its citizens to live. India and Pakistan can make better of it and can emerge as the champions of south Asia if the political animosity is given away.
West would always try to split the thought of inclusive growth in South Asia with its diplomatic and political efforts in an order to retain its hegemony in the Asia. However, it needs a strong political will above the political interests from both sides. As of now what we have been observing is that Kashmir is a political card on which the elections are being fought at national level in both the countries while overcharging the people on emotional and religious grounds by the political parties.
The people on both sides especially those living on the LoC have seen dividends of the ceasefire on the LoC that began in 2003, however, it seems that ceasefire is falling apart and not only the two neighboring countries but also common masses will suffer if the situation will worsen in coming days.