ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Civilians Caught in Crossfire

India and Pakistan are parties to the Geneva Conventions which are the keystones of International Humanitarian Law. However, notwithstanding the IHL, whenever both belligerents engage in ceasefire violations, indiscriminate firing and shelling across the Line of Control and international border, the civilians residing in these areas are subject to fearsome violence. This study points out that escalation of violence along the Indo-Pak border has enormous physical, economic and psychosocial ramifications on the lives of civilians in these areas.

As tensions between India and Pakistan rage, civilians residing along the disputed Line of Control (LoC) and working international border (IB), continue to experience the fury of mortar shells. The escalation of violence along the border has enormous physical, economic and psychosocial ramifications on the lives of civilians in these areas. In the northernmost Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), the worst-affected areas include Balakot, Sabjiyan, Mandi, Bhimber Gali (BG) and Krishna Ghati (KG) along the LoC which lie in Poonch District; and Akhnoor, Suchetgarh, R S Pura, Arnia (all these sectors are in Jammu District), Samba and Kathua Districts along the IB.

For thousands of years, various cultures across the world have developed principles aimed at protecting “unarmed populations from violence at the hands of the armed.” Since the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, such efforts have come under the rubric of the “Protection of Civilians” (POC) (Breakey 2012: 40). Since the last decade or more, POC has been endorsed in a series of reports by the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General to the Security Council, certain United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and at least eight presidential statements. POC has also been incorp­orated in a number of UNSC mandates (Francis and Sampford 2012: 2).

To read the full text Login

Get instant access

New 3 Month Subscription
to Digital Archives at

₹826for India

$50for overseas users

Comments

(-) Hide

EPW looks forward to your comments. Please note that comments are moderated as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear. A comment, if suitable, may be selected for publication in the Letters pages of EPW.

Back to Top