POONCH: Villages along the Line of Control (LoC) are reaping the benefits of ceasefire in effect since late February this year as development activities are picking up pace. Community classes for children have begun, electrification of villages has resumed and farming is back on its feet.
Peace at the LoC has enabled road repair work as large JCB machines are seen moving stones and filling the earth. “The machines would have been absent had ceasefire agreement not been in place,” says Mohammad Yunus, a resident of Kanga village along the LoC.
This road is being built with support from various initiatives of the government such as the Border Area Development Programme and Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. The Army pooled its own resources.
The biggest gainer of the prevailing calm is Datot, a village which has started getting electricity for the first time.
The situation was completely different months ago until February 23 this year when the Directors General Military Operations of India and Pakistan reiterated their commitment to the 2003 ceasefire agreement and decided to maintain peace at the de facto border.
The area bore the brunt of Pakistan Army’s small arms fire on a daily basis, forcing people to community bunkers. “The usual movement of people was seen as a relief,” says a local resident Rafia Kausar. “Schools would remain closed for days, and even months,” she said.