Guns won’t fall silent on borders till Kashmir is resolved: Speaker

CM for separate debate on LoC skirmishes, hailstorm losses; House condemns Gaza killings

Speaker of the J&K Legislative Assembly, Mubarak Gul, on Monday said the border skirmishes would continue till Kashmir issue is resolved.

“Ceasefire violations (by Pakistan) have been going on and they will continue till Kashmir issue is resolved,” he said. He made the remarks after the National Panthers Party (NPP) legislator Balwant Singh Mankotia raised the issue of recent alleged shelling by Pakistani troops in Jammu, soon after the House met here Monday—the first day of the last session of the present Assembly.
Wearing black band on his head, Mankotia, who was the lone NPP member present in the Assembly, started anti-Pakistan protests over the shelling from across the border. He said due to the ceasefire violations people were facing difficulties in border areas of Jammu.
The Speaker said Government of India should look into the issue of shelling from Pakistan side. “Allow the obituary references and bring in a motion for a separate discussion on the issue,” the Speaker told Mankotia.
But the NPP member trooped into the Well and continued with the protests. The Speaker ordered the marshals to take out Mankotia from the House.
“His behavior has been worst. I appeal to people of his constituency to teach him a lesson,” Gul remarked.
Later, the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah told the House that New Delhi will have to take a stand on the repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan. However, he said the state government is taking all the steps to mitigate problems faced by the affected families.
India and Pakistan share 720-km long LoC and 198-km long International Border. The forces from both sides have since 2013 resorted to heavy exchange of fire and mortar shelling. This exchange of heavy fire has put the 2003 ceasefire agreement reached between the neighboring countries at risk.
While Omar was responding to the issue, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members stood up on their seats demanding compensation to Kashmiri farmers whose crop has got damaged in the recent hailstorm.
“Nobody is talking about these people. They should be compensated,” the PDP members demanded.
“How did they (PDP members) suddenly remember hailstorm (affected families)?” Omar responded in a sarcastic tone.
As the PDP members continued with their demand, Omar said the issues, shelling from across LoC and hailstorm, should be taken on the next business day.

The House unanimously condemned the killing in Gaza in attacks by Israel.
At least 2,119 people, most of them civilians including more than 400 children, have been killed in Gaza since July 8, when Israel launched an offensive in the territory.
“The House condemns the brutal killings of innocent people in Gaza,” the Speaker said. Independent MLA Abdul Rashid Sheikh had moved a private member resolution demanding the House should condemn the use of force by Israel in Gaza which has resulted in killing of innocent people.

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