January 2007 News

Infiltration Down, But Not Out

17 January 2007
The Hindustan Times

New Delhi: What led to the ceasefire? After the Kargil war of 1999, In- dian and Pakistani troops were at loggerheads and often exchanged fire on the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB). This made the lives of bor der residents miserable, forcing them to flee their homes and villages and take refugee in safer zones. Taking note of the situation, the two coun tries decided to announce a com- plete truce and promised not to open fire on one another's troops across the IBand LoC. When was the ceasefire between India and Pakistan announced? On November 23, 2003, the then Pakistani Prime Minister Mir Za- farullah Khan Jamali took the ini- tiative and called for a unilateral ceasefire. When did it come into being? Responding to Jamali's cease fire offer, New Delhi replied posi tively and the truce came into being just three days later on November 26, 2003. How did the ground situation change after that? After the ceasefire was announced, border residents slowly started returning to their villages. Indian and Pakistani troops started de-mining villages. After the longest time, people actually started sleeping without the fear of mortar fire and shelling. They started renovating their broken houses and tending to their fields. The respective governments also did their bit and started development work like the construction of roads, schools and panchayat houses. What is the status of infiltration now? After the ceasefire, infiltration has definitely declined. However, intelligence agencies say that though there is a decline in infiltration from across the border, it has not ended completely. What is the current situation like? Defence Minister A.K. Antony told Lok Sabha on November 30, 2006 that infiltration into Jammu and Kashmir in October was down to 515 as against 540 during the same period in 2005, through both the LoC and IB. However, lately, there have been some bids from across the LoC in Poonch and Ra jouri districts.


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