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Residents of Pir Panjal range appeal India and Pak to announce more CBMs
Condemning the barbaric killing of two Indian soldiers at the LoC last month, a group of speakers comprising intellectuals, thinkers, academicians and members of civil society has appealed the governments of India and Pakistan to respect the ceasefire, signed on 26 November 2004, in letter and spirit.

The speakers said this while addressing a seminar organized at conference Hall in Poonch by Syed Habibullah Memorial Society, Poonch on “Strengthening Peace Initiatives between India and Pakistan: Aspirations of Peer- Panjal Region”.

The forum also highlighted the need of improving relations between two countries and increase in confidence building measures. Everyone present in the seminar highlighted the sufferings of Poonch-Rajouri people due to continuous conflicts since partition of the country till the ceasefire.

The main speakers who expressed their views were Advocate Sanjay Raina, educationist Sri KK Kapoor, Sh Quraishi, advocate Raja Abbas Khan, Advocate Iftikhar Bazmi, historian Sh KD Maini, Mr Shakeel beig, Col HP Singh and Sh AK Sahu, DDC Poonch. Prof Mussart Hussain Shah, chairman of the society, had organised the function.

Many speakers highlighted that many people in the country do not have knowledge of sufferings of people living in border areas, and in rage of patriotism sometime unreasonable demands are raised which increase the tension at the border.

There is a need to show more patience and maturity in dealing with border issues. It also requires change in mind-set of people and both nations to bring peace and prosperity. The forum impressed upon need of increase in trade and travel between the two nation and bilateral relations. They highlighted that the concern of people of Peer-Panjal region must be brought at the forefront to develop an understanding of the issue at national level.

It is to pertinent to mention that Peer-Panjal is a Himalayan range and Poonch, Rajouri & Ramban districts fall in its foothill. The people of this region identify themselves with this mountainous range and have similar Pahari culture which is different from dogra culture of Jammu, and Kashmiri culture of Kashmir Valley.

The peace means different things for the people residing in different parts in Jammu and Kashmir. The peace on the LoC has provided security to life and opened the doors of prosperity to the people residing along the border in both the parts of J&K state and they are the main beneficiaries of peaceful atmosphere, which prevails after November, 26 2004.

While addressing the conference, the participants appealed to both the governments to announce more CBMs on the LoC like multiple entry permits for all the residents of J&K state, religious tourism, exchange of sports, cultural groups and academicians, inclusion of more tradable items for trade across the LoC, opening of bank branches at trade centers on  both the sides, opening of Jhangar Kotli Road and re-opening of Tata Pani Mendhar cross LoC route which was opened on 17th November 2005 for the convenience of the families residing in the both the parts of Jammu and Kashmir.

While commenting on internal dimension of peace, the participants appreciated the constructive role of administration due to which tension free congenial and conducive atmosphere for progress and prosperity is created in this border area.

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