The local people have been living a very miserable life due to frequent Indian shelling and flood devastation in their border villages of Charwah, Bajra Garhi, Merajkey, Bajwat, Chaprar, Saalehpur, Umeraanwali, Joiyaan, Raismaan and Nandpur-Malaana along the Working Boundary.

These villages are hit by the devastating floods in Rivers Chenab and Tavi and the unprovoked intensified shelling by the Indian Border Security Forces (BSF) for the last several consecutive years. These villages had been presenting a picture of complete neglect and backwardness. Being the border villages, no one has ever thought to bring social, economic and human development schemes for these border villages, and have been left at the mercy of the three rivers Chenab, Tavi and Jammu by the local elected representatives. The people were still in high spirits despite losing their loved ones in Indian shelling-hit Sialkot border villages.

In village Saalehpur-Chaprar, the grieved family of a local farmer Rahat Mehmood, martyred by India BSF mortar shelling on Thursday, said that every Eid and national festival brings sadness for them, as the Indian BSF had been shelling Sialkot border villages on the eve of every religious or national festival in Pakistan especially on Eid days, killing local people as Indian BSF had been doing this nasty practice for the last three consecutive days. Sakeena Bibi, 71, said, “Every year, we have to face the flash floods and after being saved from floods we have to face the Indian bullets here.” She added, “If we recover from the flash floods, Indian bullets kill us. Both of the floods and Indian bullets snatch our beloved ones from us, as we face the devastating floods and also face the Indian bullets.”

She narrated, “It has become our destiny to face and floods and to face the Indian bullets as well.” Allah Rakha, 67, said that the Indian Border Security Forces had been shelling Sialkot border villages on every religious or national festival in Pakistan especially on Eid days.

“We have been living at the mercy of the flash floods and Indian bullets,” said Muhammad Bashir a local cobbler.

Villagers Iqbal, Rana Moon, Sufi Ishaq, Ashraf, Bashir Ahmed, Nasir Mehmood, Bashiran Bibi, Ghulam Hussain, Akbar, Raza Mehmood, Shagufta Parveen, Taj Bibi, Jamila Bibi and Shakeela Sabir said, however, that the spirit of local people was still very high. They said that they loved their land and were not ready to go away to any other place by leaving their homeland as well.

The muddy houses of Rahat Mehmood, Boota and Ghulam Mustafa, martyred by Indian BSF unprovoked mortar shelling on Thursday, had been eroded in villages Chaprar-Saalehpur, Raismaan and Nandpur-Malaana during 2014 devastating floods in swollen River Tavi.

Their families had re-built their muddy houses on self help basis, after waiting for long for any government help or any compensation.

“The flash floods deprived us from our houses and now the Indian bullets have deprived us of our beloved ones,” the grieved families disclosed. Local grieved families and heirs of the three Pakistani citizens staged anti-India protest demonstrations in Indian shelling hit Sialkot border villages amidst light rain.

They lodged their strong protest against the Indian BSF hostilities in Sialkot border villages. They urged the Pakistan government to take up the issue of Indian BSF hostilities along Sialkot Working Boundary to the UN and all the other main international forums.

On the other hand, PPP stalwart and former federal information minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan visited the villages. The Indian BSF had shelled these villages on Thursday by resorting to the unprovoked intensified heavy mortar shelling targeting the civilian population there and killing three persons, more than 15 cattle and leaving five other persons injured.

Dr Awan expressed solidarity with the grieved families of the three martyred persons and local people. She strongly condemned this Indian aggression. On the occasion, she termed the recent Indian shelling incident on Sialkot border in Charwah, Bajwat and Chaprar sectors an ample proof of violation of the international laws. She said that the unprovoked intensified shelling by Indian BSF on innocent and peace loving people of Sialkot was also an international conspiracy against the solemnity of Pakistan.

Later, she also inquired after the health of the injured Pakistani citizens admitted to Sialkot Combine Military Hospital (CMH). They were injured seriously by the heavy shelling of Indian Border Security Forces on Sialkot bordering villages.