Every now and then, the LoC and the International Borders along J&K become victim of Pakistani firing. Although the armed forces assure of sufficient retaliation, tit for tat, and governments make promises of peace and resolution, yet nothing seems to suffice a common border dweller. It is always the border dweller’s child whose school is shut and whose beloved cattle dies.
It is high time that we reconsidered our border policy. It seems that simply putting high tech fencing and giving free hand to our armed forces is not enough to help the village folk living along our borders.
Recently former MLC Vikramaditya Singh visiting firing affected borders of Jammu region raised similar points. He said that the State was lacking a comprehensive policy for protecting the lakhs of people living on the International Border or Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu region, who face continuous threat from ceasefire violations or cross-border firing.
The former MLC said this while interacting with the victims of ceasefire violations on IB in Samba district. He further said that it was shameful and distressing to see the living conditions of our border people and the damage they suffer due to border shelling.
On his visit, Sh Singh was apprised of three main demands which he reiterated as:
- There is a major shortage of ambulances that are required for basic or emergency medical care during sudden incidents of border firing.
- Secondly, he said that Samba Hospital be given the status of a district-hospital as this would provide adequate medical services including doctors and medical staff.
- Last, he said that to improve the livelihoods of victims of border-firing, adequate employment opportunities need to be provided for their family members by the Government.
Although a promise of constructing 14460 bunkers along the Loc and the IB in J&K was made in the Rajya Sabha in March, only time will tell if bunkers alone are a solution to the hardships of our border people.