Kotli : In Pakistan Administrated Azad Kashmir on Thursday people protested against escalation of tensions at Line and Control (LoC) and urged India and Pakistan to halt their hostilities for the safety and dignity of people of Jammu and Kashmir and continuity of peace keeping and peace building efforts.
In southern Kotli district local peace groups Press for Peace (PFP) and Future Kashmir Forum (FKF) organised a march to support continuity of peace agreement on the Line of Control and register their protest against current violations by India and Pakistan. The participants of the march were carrying placards and banners inscribed with slogans: ‘No to civilian killing on LoC’, Education and progress are our prior needs, not war.
Recent violence escalated between Indian and Pakistani troops at LoC in border villages of Kotli region has compelled locals to migrate to safer places and at least 200 families have been reported to take shelter in school buildings and temporary camps.
The marchers expressed grave concern at the loss of lives of the soldiers, casualties to civilians on both the sides and forced migration of people in border villages.
The protesters marched towards the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) mission to present a memorandum to the UN officials to draw their attention towards recent human losses in Kashmir border.
The memorandum said that people fear that if the tensions at the LoC are allowed to prolong, it would compromise the goodwill that has been built and reverse the peace dividends.
They feared that such an alarming situation may cause massive sufferings to the people of not just the border areas, but eventually of the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir, on both sides.
Meanwhile, addressing the participants of peace march various leaders and representatives of political parties said UN should adopt a proactive course of diplomatic move to compel India and Pakistan, while taking genuine Kashmiri leadership on board, to initiate substantive discourse on Kashmir for the permanent, durable and honourable settlement of the festering Kashmir conflict.
‘No peace can be guaranteed in South Asia unless Kashmir dispute is amicably settled by India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir, they added.
Earlier in the peace camp people, including traders, lawyers and youth expressed their passionate support for peace by signing the memo. Local singers also charged the audience by singing poems and songs about peace, freedom and justice.