Together we can decrease the level of violence, raise awareness of our activities and save lives around the world. The impact of a day of global ceasefire and non-violence cannot be misunderstood.  Jeremy Gilley

When the whole world is grappling with the lethal issue of Coronovirus, The Pakistani and Indian troopers are at loggerheads with each other in Keran Sector. The people living in the Keran sector of Kupwara district feel themselves between the Scylla and Charybdis. On the one hand they are coping with the threat of the deadly virus and on the other hand there is an imminent threat of mortar shelling. At a time when people are advised to stay indoors and maintain social distance, the people living near the borders are running for the safer haven. Their lives are at stake because of the shelling that has been going on from last few days.

The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, on 23 March called for the global ceasefire to focus on the fight against the virus. He said, “… I am calling for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world. It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives. Pull back from the hostilities. Silence the guns; stop the artillery; end airstrikes. This is crucial to help create corridors for life saving aid, open windows for diplomacy and bring hope to places amongst the most vulnerable to COVID-19”. Most of the countries acted upon the order of the UN Secretary General. Afghan government and Taliban agreed on the truce. Saudi- led coalition declared a unilateral ceasefire in Yemen. But the irony of the fact is that India and Pakistan are still waging a deadly war. This ceasefire violation has claimed the lives of five soldiers and five militants. Besides this, three innocent civilians also lost their lives. Defense forces claim that these militants have come from the other side of the border. The area has been witnessing heavy shelling from both sides. The helpless people are openly vulnerable in this heavy mortar shelling

The two countries are veteran in the blame game. The two countries are blaming each other for this ceasefire violation. Blaming each other is not the solution. Both the countries should come to a mutual understanding in order to end this rivalry. Both the countries should think about the lives of the innocent people who are living on the both sides of LoC. The pandemic has already put an existential brake due to its lethality. The lives of the border dwellers are at present are at peril. How can they stay indoors under the heavy mortar shelling that is going on the both sides of the border!

Both the countries should act responsibly in this pandemic. Instead of putting the lives of the people at peril, both the countries should take measures that can save the citizens. Bravery and sanity lies in saving the lives not in periling them. This pandemic that has decimated the large percentage of the world population should stir both the countries about the safeguard of the people. This pandemic should be an eye-open for both the countries. Instead of investing money on the deadly weapons, both the countries should invest money on those sectors that can make the lives of the people able to survive. Fighting during this pandemic connotes a kind of arrogance and insanity of any country. Both the countries should call for a permanent ceasefire so that the lives of the people living near the vulnerable borders could be saved. The people living near the contentious and precarious border feel themselves ill at ease because of the intermittent altercations between the troopers.  Let both countries end this acrimony so that the people can live their lives safely. Both the countries should at least honor the order given out by UN General Secretary about the global ceasefire in this pandemic. Let you safeguard the people living near the border.

Postscript:   War does not determine who is right but who is left. Bertrand Russel

The writer is a Research Scholar at the Department of English, AMU and can be mailed at bilalbismil89@gmail.com


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