JAMMU: The villagers living along the International Border (IB) in Jammu region heaved a sigh of relief after India and Pakistan agreed to put an end to ceasefire violations and firing along the border as part of their latest confidence building measures (CBMs).
"Every time there is a ceasefire violation and firing from across the border we become the victim, as most of the time it is the common people who die, if what you are saying (about CBMs) is true then we are really happy as it is going to benefit us," said Vishal, a resident of Arnia sector that in past has bore the brunt of cross border firing.
The latest set of CBMs agreed upon by Border Security Force (BSF) and Pak Rangers to put an end to ceasefire violations and firing along the border are expected to be put in place in the next fortnight.
The two sides, during their three-day DG-level talks in New Delhi yesterday decided to enhance communication channels by getting in touch over the fastest modes of communication like mobile phone, fax and email and ensure that they alert the other side with a precautionary illumination fire if either side detects something suspicious on the IB.
"We are really happy that the thousands of border residents like us will be allowed to lead a normal life, we are happy that we won't have to leave our houses and our livestock as both the sides (India and Pakistan) have decided to put an end to ceasefire violations", Krishan Lal, another Arnia dweller, said.
The residents of various villages along the IB in the Jammu region are overjoyed with the news that there won't be ceasefire violations along the international border allowing them to lead a normal life.
The people are happy that they would be allowed to carry out their mainstay profession which is farming.
"Majority of the residents of villages along the IB are dependent on their fields to sustain their livelihood, but due to ceasefire violations people were not able to work in the fields, but now we would be able to work in our fields," Prem Kumar, a resident of R S Pura sector, said.
These bi-annual border talks had taken place almost after a break of two years as relations between the two neighbours came under strain due to a host of issues.
As part of efforts to bring peace on the border, India and Pakistan had yesterday also decided to put a complete ban on firing of mortar shells along the IB in Jammu and Kashmir which has claimed the lives of several civilians and damaged their houses.
The outcome of the talks, which both the sides said were held in a "cordial and constructive atmosphere", also endorsed a CBM that in case either side notices suspicious movement along IB, they will fire precautionary illumination shots to alert the counterpart that the forthcoming fire is aimed at the intruder and not at them.
Vicky, a resident of R S Pura, expressed his joy on the news that both the sides have agreed put an end to mortar shelling, which he said were the main reason of causality to civilians and their livestock along the IB.
However, some border residents have expressed doubt if the agreement of CBMs would be enforced in letter and spirit.