MIRPUR (AJK) -  In a joint calling attention petition, over 130 Kashmiris living both sides of the Line of Control urged the Pakistani and Indian governments to resume ceasefire along the LoC and begin the process of dialogues to resolve the Kashmir issue.

The initiative was led by two eminent civil society activists Anuradha Bhasin, Executive Editor of Daily Kashmir Times, Jammu and Ershad Mahmud, veteran writer, columnist and analyst and Executive Director of AJK-based Centre for Peace, Development and Reforms (CPDR).

The petition has already gained momentum and people are coming together in a significant number to take ownership of the initiative. It so far has got signatures from various senior political leaders, poets, authors, journalists, civil society activists, former civil servants, ex-diplomats and army personnel, as well as people from the academia.

The petition pronounces that if the current tension at the Line of Control was allowed to prolong, it would jeopardise the stability of the region and might escalate into a war. Besides, the skirmishes at the LoC augment the sufferings of the people residing not just near the border areas but eventually of the entire population of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir State.

It also raises concern and anxiety regarding the growth of radical elements and warmongers in India and Pakistan who exploit the situation on LoC to promote hatred between the two countries. The petition claimed that the ongoing spate of violence would sanction the warmongers on both the sides. It also urges the political leadership in New Delhi and Islamabad to impress upon their respective militaries for bringing an immediate end to the continuum of shelling and firing.

The organisers stated that the petition would soon be online for further signatures and support. Those who signed the petition include Chaudhary Latif Akbar, ex-AJK minister and President of Pakistan People’s Party AJK; Justice (R) Hasnain Masoodi from Srinagar; ex-vice-chancellor Siddiq Wahid; Neerja Mattoo, writer and educationist; Farooq Nazki, poet; authors Mir Khalid and Badri Raina; Shujaat Bukhari, Editor Rising Kashmir, Srinagar, Dr Nitasha Kaul, writer and academic, Senior Kashmiri Journalist Altaf Hamid Nizami, and ex-AJK minister Farzana Yaqoob.

The others include President of AJK Chamber of Commerce and Industry  Ghulam Murtza, Justice Syed Sharif Hussain Bokhari, Air Vice Marshal (R) Kapil Kak; Dr Toqeer Gillani, Chairman Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front; Mr. Abdul Khaliq Wasi, Member Kashmir Council, Pakistan Muslim League (N); Shakeel Qalandhar and Mubeen Shah of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Ambassador (R) Arif Kamal, Shaheen Kausar Dar, ex-Deputy Speaker of AJK Legislative Assembly.

SC CIRCUIT BENCH SCHEDULE: Circuit bench of the Supreme Court of Azad Jammu & Kashmir will hear the cases at Mirpur from February 19 to March 2, 2018, it was officially announced.

According to the official notification issued on Thursday, Honorable Chief Justice Muhammad Ibrahim  Zia has been pleased to order that the Supreme Court will hold its circuit sitting at Mirpur from 19th February to March 2, 2018. The Additional Registrar of Branch Registry Mirpur has been directed to fix the cases for hearing accordingly during the  above scheduled presence of the Circuit Bench of the apex courts in Mirpur.