Advocating for restarting the peace process between India and Pakistan and end border skirmishes, the Jammu and Kashmir government said today the hostility between the two nations has a direct bearing on the people of the state. “We want the restart of the process initiated by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to restore peace. This is the stand of our party as is the people of Jammu and Kashmir who are the worst sufferers (of border skirmishes),” Parliamentary Affairs Minister A R Veeri said in the Legislative Assembly. Veeri made the statement in response to concerns expressed by House members over the loss of human lives, livestock and damage to properties in border shelling.
Nine people, including four security personnel, were killed in intense Pakistani shelling over the past three days. The shelling also forced residents to flee their homes close to the International Border and the Line of Control in Jammu division.Minister Veeri said the forward areas in five districts in the division were affected by the sudden spurt in cross-border firing, even as administration was taking all possible steps to avoid further loss of lives and damage to properties. Later talking to reporters outside the House, Veeri said: “It is our bad luck that we are caught in such a situation.”
“The happenings on the border have a direct impact on the people of Jammu and Kashmir. We want the peace process started by Vajpayee carried forward so that peace is restored on the borders and people of the two countries live in peace,” he said. He said the situation near border areas was being monitored. He said Rs 50 lakh has been provided out of the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund for meeting the cost of treatment and medicines for the livestock injured in the Pakistani shelling. The minister said an ex-gratia amount of Rs 1 lakh has been sanctioned for the family of each of the deceased in Jammu district, while an ex-gratia amount of Rs 5,000 each has been sanctioned for those injured as immediate assistance.
He said 129 animals have died and 93 animals injured in the firing along the IB in Jammu, whereas more than 700 people were evacuated to safer places.