SRINAGAR: Condemning shelling of civilian areas by Pakistan resulting in the death of five civilians in Poonch district, Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed tonight said Islamabad should be told to stop "military machinations to inflict miseries on the people of Jammu and Kashmir".
"We can't allow our hapless civilians, living along the borders, to become the ill-fated victims of the military machinations from across," Sayeed said, adding that ironically it is the people of Jammu and Kashmir who have been suffering the worst miseries of more than six decades long hostility in the region. Calling for immediate de-escalation of tension along the borders in Jammu and Kashmir, Sayeed urged the political leadership of India and Pakistan to respect and uphold the ceasefire put in place during 2003.
"Ironically at a time when the two countries should have been celebrating their independence, they are engaged in virulent and dangerous confrontation along the borders," he said. In a new flareup in border tensions, Pakistani troops today resorted to heavy firing and mortar shelling at Indian posts and civilian areas killing five civilians including a sarpanch in multiple ceasefire violations along the LoC in Poonch district.
He said instead of resorting to the blame-game or sounding jingoistic with slogans of strong retaliatory action, the political leadership of the two countries must immediately resume the snapped process of composite dialogue for resolving all the issues including the recurrent ceasefire violations along the borders. New Delhi and Islamabad must without delay open the channels of communication realising the dangerous consequences of any escalation of ongoing confrontation along the borders, he said.
Peace between the two countries is crucial not only for stability, progress and economic prosperity of the region, but for the sustainment of the budding democratic institutions and forces in Pakistan, he added. Sayeed said the people of Jammu and Kashmir have very high stakes in peace as they have to pay heavy costs during any escalation of tension between India and Pakistan.
"For the people of Jammu & Kashmir peace along the borders and within the mainland is of immense significance and I hope the political leadership of the two countries would also treat it with the same spirit," he said. The ceasefire initiative of 2003 had proved to be an event of unrivalled importance for not only the two countries but also for the people in all the regions of Jammu & Kashmir, he added.
The Chief Minister expressed heartfelt sympathies with the bereaved families and prayed for early recovery of the injured. He directed the district and the divisional administration to arrange adequate medicare facilities for the injured and shift the vulnerable inhabitants along the LoC to the safer places to prevent further loss of life.