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Pakistani Kashmiris ride a van heading towards the town of Titrinot, some 30 kilometers north of Battal sector close of Pakistan-India border. – Photo by AFP
Pakistani Kashmiris ride a van heading towards the town of Titrinot, some 30 kilometers north of Battal sector close of Pakistan-India border. – Photo by AFP

TITRINOT: Pakistani villagers in Kashmir living on the de facto border with India say they are trapped indoors, terrified by heavy exchanges of fire between Pakistani and Indian troops.

In the village of Darmassal, on the edge of the Line of Control and just metres away from Indian positions, boats which usually ferry people across the Poonch river have stayed moored since Wednesday because of heavy Indian firing, residents say.

“We are scared. We can’t come out because the area is under constant fire,” villager Shaukat Butt, 38, told AFP while hiding in a house.

“We used to cross the river by boat but yesterday Indian soldiers fired at our boat, so everybody is confined inside now and the boats have stopped,” he said.

Darmassal is part of the Battal region, where Pakistan accused Indian troops of opening fire and killing a Pakistani soldier on Thursday, the third cross-border incident since Sunday.

The Indian army post stands on the mountainside opposite the village and a Pakistani post lies beneath it, in front of the village and the river.

“I am very worried about my children. I want this firing to stop,” said Nazia Bibi, 35, who left her three children with her husband in the nearby main town of Titrinot and went to Hajira, another border town 12 kilometres away, to see her parents.

She says she is now too scared to return to Titrinot.

“I want to go back to my husband and children but can’t due to this firing. There is constant firing at the civilian population by the Indian side,” she said.

“We and our children are not safe in these conditions, we want peace,” she added.

A road between Titrinot and Hajira, which is the main route for trucks carrying supplies to and from India and Pakistan, has also been closed due to the firing.

“I started my restaurant at this hotel five years ago and did good business during the time of ceasefire. But from yesterday (Wednesday) onwards, I have had to save my own life and there is no business,” said Ishtiaq Ahmed, the owner of a roadside cafe.

“If this firing starts again, we all will become homeless,” he said.

A senior government official in the area, Mushtaq Ahmed, said that the firing had restricted the movement of around 40,000 people.

Comments (22) Closed

Raj Jan 11, 2013 02:52pm
Yes. Read Fiel Marshal Aub Khan's book," not master and slave, but equals"
True Indian Jan 11, 2013 02:52pm
Really ....I agree that these poor people are the ones who suffer the most....but this is on both sides....All we can do is feel sorry for them...
rahamdil Jan 11, 2013 02:12pm
Naturally, there are villages on both side of the border...
Tony Jan 10, 2013 08:57pm
There is hardly any similarity of culture between India and China, but there is no reported exchange of fire between the two countries since the 1962 Chinese invasion. These two countries face a much longer border between them. But there is absolute peace and tranquility along the border. Moreover, the Indian and Chinese troops have a lot of respect for each other and greet each other when they face. On the contrary, the Indians and Pakistanis have the same ethnicity and the same DNA, apart from having the same culture, but still there is so much hostility. Let peace and sense prevail and we start treating each other like friends and brothers. If German wall could come down and if the European countries who fought with each other for centuries, formed a monetory and trade union, why India and Pakistan want to remain poor and backward by fighting with each other. Give up hostility and embrace prosperity!
sanaparveen Jan 11, 2013 10:54am
India blaming PAk,, PAk blaming india... I dont know whats going on.... Two lance Naik beheaded by PAk soldiers... I think thats y they started firing... Admin Im a strong supporter of Aman ki Asha... N seriously when people of both the country love each other thn wht we are waiting for???? y both the country is not merged yet??
Seeker Jan 11, 2013 08:26am
Fell sorry for Pakistanis living in fear, hope the situation becomes peaceful and happy and friendly relations return back as soon as possible.
Chaman Jan 11, 2013 01:25pm
Total madness at work. 122 innocent people killed in one day. Indian solidiers beheaded. One Pakisani solidier dead. It is a total shame that innocent lives are lost to sate the anger and rage of a bitter and misguided few. Are we on a path to destroy ourselves. It looks like a lemming instinct. May Almighty guide us to a peaceful and nonviolent path. Politicians are getting ready for elections, so easy way is to create tension elsewhere to distract people's attention from their sufferings and misgivings about their leaders. What a pitiable wayvto get votes.
Proof? Jan 11, 2013 09:32am
Proof? your are lying
Hindustani Jan 11, 2013 08:54am
No one can stop India and Pakistan becoming best of friends.Our friendship is eternal and full of joy and happiness.We love each other no one can separate us.I love Pakistan,Pakistanis love India.
Gautam Jan 11, 2013 08:46am
Got the proof? Now run!
Vikram Jan 11, 2013 06:44am
Confidence building measure should be done between India and Pakistan build trust and friendship.Pakistan and India should talk to each other than talking at each other.
Ahsen Jan 11, 2013 01:20pm
wow !!! 29 indians [dislikes] here and they keep commenting , I wonder if pakistanis do the same on their e-news sites.
Ahsen Jan 11, 2013 01:16pm
its the otherway around.
Ali Jan 10, 2013 11:32pm
Pakistan should stop all mischiefs and start behaving and live with India as younger brother.
Rocky Jan 10, 2013 06:01pm
Nobody wins with hostilities. Some crackpots do take advantage or even instigate. That angel of death Hafiz Saeed visited some LOC areas. What followed is what is to be expected.
Indian Jan 11, 2013 01:09pm
What a shame....RIP to the soldiers who lost their lives...I can understand the pain of theirs familyies...Indian and Pakistani we should accept that we are still playing on UK plan....We were Gulam we are Gulam and we will be Gulam......shameeeeee shameeee.....Thank god I left south Asia
Nilesh Jan 10, 2013 08:21pm
all drama!!
rahul pathak Jan 10, 2013 05:13pm
simmilar stories r there from indian side too.....
Anony Jan 10, 2013 06:07pm
Proof that india keeps on firing on innocent civilians as well as the soldiers from across the border.
Sid Jan 10, 2013 03:58pm
The newspapers say that Pakistan opened fire on Indian territory initially and killed 2 Indian army personnel and that is why such a reply is being given by India!
MSH Jan 12, 2013 05:11am
Actually that book is "Friends not Masters" and refers to the US, but point taken.
Anu Singh Jan 12, 2013 09:25am
rather than ,......................fighting with us.......pakistan should improve it's inner conditions. India is spending money on Education ,Science & Commerce. why dont you also put emphasis on your economy as we are doing rather than messing with us.