Srinagar: As the year draws to an end with 10 months of fresh ceasefire pact between India and Pakistan, the border residents Wednesday said that the silence of guns at the Line of Control (LoC) means peace to them without any fear of falling to untimely shelling.

The border residents believe that the year 2021 has been full of peace and normalcy post the February 25 ceasefire pact between two neighbouring countries with normal activities taking place.

Notably, armies of India and Pakistan in February this year agreed to adhere to all agreements of the ceasefire.

Expressing their satisfaction and praying for long-lasting peace at the border, the representatives of three border areas in north Kashmir while talking to news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) said that there is nothing better than the silence of guns at the LoC as people undertake normal activities and students are not restricted to homes besides required developmental works also take place.

Advocate Najma Hamid, District Development Council (DDC) Member Karnah Sector in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district said that the most important requirement of border residents is peace at the fence.

“People living in cities don’t exactly know what people undergo and what amount of difficulties they face. School buildings and road construction serve no fun if there is no peace at the borders.” Najma said.

“A shell or gunfire isn’t fired at any specific spot; it hits a school building or any other structure used by people that led to disruption in normal activities besides students not attending schools,” Najma said.

She said that this year there has been a major relief for border residents and it is the peace that matters for the people living at zero line.

“Similar pacts were signed in the past as well but every time violations took place. Peace is more important for people’s mental stability matters,” the DDC member said.

Najma informed that a total of 120 community bunkers were approved of which 118 have been completed while two are under construction besides DPR has been submitted for individual bunkers but the approval has not been granted as of now.

Aijaz Ahmad Khan, District Development Council (DDC) member from Tulail Gurez sector in Bandipora said that post the ceasefire in February people in border areas have lived a normal life since most of them undertook agricultural activities on which maximum population depends for survival.

“People are at peace and happy with the ceasefire understanding between the two countries and we hope that it lasts forever,” Khan said. “Besides special occasion celebrations like marriages and festivals have returned to the border areas.”

Khan said that around 30 community bunkers have been constructed in ceasefire-prone areas.

Former Minister and District Development Council (DDC) Member Uri in Baramulla district said that there is a 200 kilometres border area and there was a constant fear of getting killed and receiving injuries even leaving many handicapped for life.

“Ever since the recent ceasefire pact, there has been peace and normalcy. On other (no ceasefire pact) days there remained constant fear and scare,” he said.

He informed that some community bunkers that had already been constructed years ago are still there and the process is still on. “Of 1000 structures around 500 exist while no individual bunker has been constructed.”

Border shelling has killed hundreds of people in Kashmir and Jammu region since 1990 and left scores handicapped forever. Besides, houses and livestock worth billions of rupees have also been damaged as well due to the cross LoC shelling in J&K in the past 30 years.