MUZAFFARABAD: The Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) government on Thursday alerted the administration of six of its 10 districts, sharing the Line of Control with India-held Kashmir (IHK), to the distinctly possible “mischief and aggression” by Indian troops from across the LoC, asking them to ensure additional precautionary measures at the hands of the vulnerable population.
The warning-cum-direction was sent to the deputy commissioners of Neelum and Jhelum valleys in Muzaffarabad division, Haveli and Rawalakot in Poonch division and Kotli and Bhimber in Mirpur division by the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) through a joint letter, also made available to the media.
The SDMA asked the DCs to inform people living along the LoC to take additional precautionary measures to ensure their personal safety in the wake of the prevailing situation in the region. “People should avoid assembly along the LoC, should construct bunkers in areas where they do not exist, should avoid unnecessary lighting after sunset and should also refrain from travelling on roads located close to the dividing line unless it is urgent,” it said.
It also warned people against grazing their cattle in the proximity of the LoC. It was perhaps for the first time after the signing of the historic ceasefire agreement between the armies of Pakistan and India in Nov 2003 that such a warning was publicly issued by the government, even though the truce accord had seen some worst violations after 2016.
Tensions leapt up once again recently after a suicide attack in IHK’s Pulwama district left around 44 paramilitary troopers dead on Feb 14.
On Wednesday, AJK’s senior minister Chaudhry Tariq Farooq had hinted at a press talk here that India could trigger a “limited war” along the LoC for domestic consumption ahead of its parliamentary elections.
Published in Dawn, February 22nd, 2019