PIPFPD urges India, Pakistan to take steps for de-escalating border tension

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SRINAGAR: Pakistan-India Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD) today urged both India and Pakistan to take immediate steps for de-escalating tension on borders.
In a joint statement, Anuradha Bhasin and Asha Hans, chairpersons and Jatin Desai, general secretary of PIPFPD demanded that an urgent meeting of DGMOs should be called to ensure that both sides refrain from cross border firing.”Ceasefire agreement of the 2003 must be implemented in letter and spirit. Indian government should initiate dialogue with all the stakeholders, including the people’s organisations and civil society of Kashmir,” they said.
The Forum stated that foreign ministers of both countries must meet and re-initiate the stalled dialogue process on all necessary issues. “India and Pakistan must resume dialogue at the highest level to ensure peace prevails in the region and no more lives are lost,” it said.
The PIPFPD viewed that the escalation of tensions between India and Pakistan at the international borders and the line of control are a matter of concern as they signal deterioration of relations between the two countries and are encouraging a vicious endless cycle of violence.
“The murderous battlefield created by the two countries at the borders is not only resulting in loss of precious lives of civilians and soldiers on both sides but is also impacting stability and peace in the entire South Asian region,” it said.
PIPFPD condemned these killings and expressed its strong concern over the rising incidence of violations of ceasefire agreement and cross border firing. “The number of casualties of civilians living on both sides of the LoC and international border / working boundary and soldiers are growing with each passing day as the armies on the two sides are engaged in a tit-for-tat policy.
The ceasefire violations have become a norm in recent years and January 2018 is witnessing a record number of cross border firings and casualties, which is severely impacting the lives of the border people as well as causing panic and distress to many others,” the statement said.
The Forum said that the border firings and violence is not limited to the army casualties and national security; it deeply affects the life of common people who have inhabited these areas for many decades. “Treating them as mere casualty numbers is the worst thing that can happen in a democracy.