- Who will provide the necessary protection?
As tensions with India remain high, unprovoked crossborder firing along the LoC continues unabated despite there being a ceasefire in place. The most recent event claimed the lives of six civilians and a solider. These deaths and the subsequent reply in which 9 Indian soldiers were killed were widely reported, making headlines. However, as bodies continue to fall in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) there has been a drop-in attention towards these incidents as they are either being under-reported or simply ignored. This was the contention of the AJK Prime Minister who did not mince his words over the insufficient protection being provided to civilians living in the areas closest to the LoC, most vulnerable to India’s “naked aggression”. He expressed his frustration, stating that only the day before a man and his 12-year-old son had been martyred, yet there was no coverage of the incident in the news. It is quite ironic and unfortunate that Prime Minister Imran Khan had recently been highly critical of the Western media for their lack of attention towards the Kashmir cause, rather preferring to cover protests in Hong Kong, yet at home his own media has lost the momentum it had a few months back when the Kashmir crisis began.
It is the duty of the government and the forces deployed across the LoC to provide enough protection, so that there aren’t any deaths to report in the first place. There has been enough escalation in violent attacks through shelling that a temporary evacuation from the area is now merited. Why such measures are not being taken raises questions. Is there a lack of resources to be able to successfully carry out such a mass movement of people? This would be a lame excuse as money and people can often be found if one looks hard enough for it. Mere sloganeering and weekly Friday human chains do very little to protect the citizens of AJK. The government needs to do more.