Highest ceasefire violations during NDA rule: Azad
STATE TIMES NEWS
Jammu: Hitting out at the NDA government for “highest ceasefire violations” along Indo-Pak border during its rule, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad on Thursday said even the surgical strikes failed to give respite to people along the border.
“Since the NDA government came, there has been a large number of ceasefire violations and these are the highest as compared to past two-and-a-half-years”, Azad told reporters at GMC hospital here after visiting the shelling-hit people.
“Central government keeps harping a lot and gives threats to Pakistan, but there is no positive result on the ground, instead people are paying the cost of those threats on the borderline in Jammu, Kathua, Samba, Rajouri and Poonch”, he said.
The senior Congress leader said “Government should be practical, it should desist from rhetoric on TV Channels. Let it ask the families of those people who were killed or injured or their animals perished or those dislodged from their homes in Pakistani firing and shelling”.
Asked whether the surgical strikes has rattled Pakistan, he said, “I don’t know…surgical strikes were aimed to give respite to the people but even after the strikes, there is no respite.”
Asked whether it was a wrong decision to go for surgical strikes, he said,” I don’t know. I want to say the government is not wrong so far as the surgical strikes are concerned.
It is the job of the army and …its prerogative to conduct surgical strikes”.
“I don’t think any political party should be discredited or some party should take credit of it. So far as my party is concerned, we are in favour of surgical strikes, we support the surgical strikes”, Azad said.
About security forces giving befitting reply to Pakistan in which their posts have been decimated, he said “I am very happy that our government and the security forces are giving befitting reply and the entire country is behind our security forces”.
“All political parties in the country are behind our security forces. Entire might of 125 crore population is behind the security forces of our country”, he said.
“I came from New Delhi and met the people at the hospital who have been injured in the Pakistani firing, …I will visit the border belt to oversee the problems faced by the people,” the former Chief Minister said.
“There is a huge loss to the civilians due to border skirmishes on the two sides, we are sad at the loss of lives of our soldiers and the civilians in Pakistani firing and shelling. There is not only loss of life to the humans but also to animals and damage caused to the property is huge”, he added.
“This is the peak time for harvesting of crops in Jammu, Kathua and Samba up to Poonch and Rajouri, people are in agriculture fields… and during this period firing is taking place… apart from loss of life or property, it is loss of economy also”, he said.
According to STATE TIMES correspondent, Azad once again raised the issue of allocating small plots of 5-6 marlas to the border residents, 10-15 km behind the International Border. He also justified demands for adequate relief for the loss of lives and properties, provision of students hostels, more employment opportunities and extending the benefits of reservation to the border residents near IB, on the pattern of reservation to resident of LOC, in the State.
Azad also regretted that the Modi Government has failed to fulfil the promises made to the people of border areas of the state, during the Lok Sabha and assembly elections, as a result they continued to face great hardships and loss of lives and properties. He said that Congress would raise their issues in the upcoming session of Parliament and seek appropriate response from the government in this regard.
Interestingly, when Congress ruled the state for 12 long years between 2002-2014 first in alliance with PDP and later with National Conference they were not able to address the issue of allocating plots to the border residents.
According to official sources after the BJP led government assumed charge of office, a proposal to allot plots in Hiranagar sector was mooted and 80 kanals of land were also identified but security forces raised some security issues and opposed allotment of plots claiming migration from border areas would create security problem.
Lambasting unprovoked Pak shelling on the civilian areas Azad said Pakistan’s political leadership and its army had lost their mental balance.
“In clear violation of all norms of conduct and discipline, the Pakistan Army has been targeting innocent civilians in the border areas in Jammu and Kashmir. This indicates that their army and rulers have lost their mental balance.
During his stay with border residents locals complained about lack of adequate facilities in their border areas like health care and ambulances, in time of need, besides lack of disbursement of relief and rehabilitation for the loss of lives and live-stock.
Azad also visited the Government Medical College Hospital in Jammu and took stock of the well being of patients undergoing treatment
Many of the injured, especially from Suchetgarh area, complained to him that they had lost many cattle head due to shelling but had received no compensation.
Azad assured he would take up the issue with the authorities concerned.