CM Mufti Expresses Grief over Civilian Deaths on Border



CM Mufti Sayeed at his residence Saturday evening.
CM Mufti Sayeed at SKICC Saturday evening where he hosted ‘At Home’.

Strongly condemning shelling of civilian areas allegedly by Pakistan which resulted in the death of three innocent civilians in the Balakote sector in district Poonch, Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said Islamabad should be told in unequivocal terms to “stop inflicting miseries on the people of Jammu and Kashmir”.

“We can’t allow our hapless civilians, living along the borders, to become the ill-fated victims of the military machinations from across,” Sayeed said adding that ironically it is the people of Jammu and Kashmir have been suffering the worst miseries of, more than six decades long, hostility in the region.

Calling for immediate de-escalation of tension along the borders in Jammu and Kashmir, Sayeed urged the political leadership of India and Pakistan to respect and uphold the ceasefire put in place during 2003, an official statement said Saturday evening.

“Ironically at a time when the two countries should have been celebrating their independence, they are engaged in virulent and dangerous confrontation along the borders,” he said.

He said instead of resorting to the blame-game or sounding jingoistic with slogans of strong retaliatory action, the political leadership of the two countries must immediately resume the snapped process of composite dialogue for resolving all the issues including the recurrent ceasefire violations along the borders.

“New Delhi and Islamabad must without delay open the channels of communication realizing the dangerous consequences of any escalation of ongoing confrontation along the borders,” he said adding that peace between the two countries is crucial not only for stability, progress and economic prosperity of the region, but for the sustainment of the budding democratic institutions and forces in Pakistan.

Sayeed said the people of Jammu and Kashmir have very high stakes in peace as they have to pay heavy costs during any escalation of tension between India and Pakistan.  “For the people of Jammu & Kashmir peace along the borders and within the mainland is of immense significance and I hope the political leadership of the two countries would also treat it with the same spirit,” he said and added that the ceasefire initiative of 2003 had proved to be an event of unrivalled importance for not only the two countries but also for the people in all the regions of Jammu & Kashmir.

Three civilians including local Sarpanch Karamat (48), Abdul Rehman Master (45) S/O Khadim Hussain and Mohammad Sheeraz (17) S/O Guldad were killed in fresh shelling from across the border in Balakote sector while 10 others were injured. Two of the critically injured have been airlifted to Jammu for treatment.

The Chief Minister expressed heartfelt sympathies with the bereaved families and prayed for early recovery of the injured.

He directed the district and the divisional administration to arrange adequate medicare facilities for the injured and shift the vulnerable inhabitants along the LoC to the safer places to prevent further loss of life.

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