On World Peace Day Pakistan and India were asked to protect the peace agreement in Kashmir in order to avoid civil and military losses caused by sporadic breaches on the Line of Control (LoC) by troops of both countries.
“Keep the Ceasefire on LoC”, “We Demand peace”, a group of children raised slogans in a rally arranged on World Peace Day in a border town of Neelum (Kishanganga) Valley, which divides the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan.
A local peace group Press For Peace (PFP) arranged the rally to express the public sentiment of an area where people have starting rebuilding of their lives following a peace agreement between Indian and Pakistan troops.
In 2003 Pakistan and India signed a peace agreement on the Line of Control. However, both countries have accused each other of periodic violations of the ceasefire during recent years.
Before the ceasefire agreement heavy mortar shelling between Indian and Pakistani militaries stationed on the LoC have claimed many lives, mostly civilians, including children and women.
Last week Pakistan and India again violated the ceasefire by targeting each other’s military posts with rockets and heavy machine gun fire along the LoC in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir.
Following the recent public unease about the future of ceasefire agreement, on the eve of this years International Day of Peace the border town of Neelum (Kishanganga) Valley echoed with the pro-peace slogans of Kashmiri children.
They were carrying banners and cards inscribed “We need books, not bombs, Give peace a chance,” “War is expensive, peace is priceless” and other slogans supporting peace and condemning war.
Addressing the rally speakers asked India and Pakistan to sustain peace on the LoC. Recent incidents of infringements on the LoC border have escalated their concerns about the future of the peace pact:
If the peace agreement is not honoured and maintained with letter and spirit by both parties we will face situation of the past and our lives would be ruined again by the destruction of war and shellingAmiruddin Mughal, of Press For Peace, said that we have lost a generation of children due to the Kashmir conflict and shootings of Indo-Pak troops on the LoC:
Most of the victims were children, who were killed in the schools in aimless shellingHe said that on-going peace accord has provided the victims to restore their lives and catch-up the loss caused in the past.
He vowed to protect peace in the region at every cost as it is connected with people well being and survival.