WORKING BOUNDARY, LAMBARYAL – About two years ago, Faisal Ali, a 9-year-old boy of Lambaryal village was the captain of the cricket team of his town’s primary school, located just a kilometre away from the Working Boundary along the Indian border in Shakargarh sector. Also acknowledged as the youngest all-rounder in his village team, Faisal had been playing cricket in the ground near to his village when all the boys, leaving the sport, started running towards safe places in panic amid gunshots. Faisal picked the bat and started running towards his village when a bullet pierced through his left shoulder, leaving him in a pool of blood. “Firing, BSF firing, run fast and faster,” Faisal recalled the voices he had heard when he fell on the ground after receiving a rifle bullet one Sunday afternoon in 2010. Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) had shifted the injured to the district hospital as the villagers called them for help. The following morning as he gained consciousness at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the DHQ hospital Narowal, he saw another two players of his team on the adjacent beds – one with a bullet wound in the leg and the other with bandage on the right arm. “We were just two runs away from the final win. We were playing cricket. Why (Indian) BSF fired at us. Why?” Faisal repeated the same question when talking to this reporter during a visit to his village on Tuesday afternoon. Local residents said that the Indian BSF frequently target even animals along the Working Boundary.“Many people here are suffering from depression and psychological disorder as the unprovoked firing targeting villages situated along the border has become a routine matter,” Abdul Ghani, 90-year-old elder of the village said. “We don’t move outside the village during the night hours. Often, we have to spend sleepless nights. Nobody can sleep amid heavy gun fire, which continues sometime for several hours and sometime for several days and night,” Muhammad Bashir, a 50-year-old farmer said. Faisal has joined the cricket team of his village again and still he is the best batsman. But there is no guarantee that the Indian Border Security Force would not target the cricket ground or will never fire at innocent boys or the animals roaming along the border. Indian and Pakistan have fought three wars since independence and both the nuclear- armed neighbours never enjoyed cordial or friendly relations particularly, on the Working Boundary and the Line of Control.After each firing incident, India blames Pakistan for resorting to firing while Rangers claim the Indian BSF first opened the fire and they had to retaliate in self-defence. This year alone, the Indian BSF has shot dead 11 Pakistani nationals. According to India, the Pakistanis were trying to push narcotics and counterfeit currency into the Indian territory, when the BSF shot and killed them. Pakistan strongly denied the claim. Last month, a team of top commanders from the Pakistan Rangers visited India to attend the bi-annual meeting with their counterparts in New Delhi. Headed by Director Generals of Sindh and Punjab Rangers, Rizwan Akhtar and Mian Muhammad Hilal Hussain, the high-level delegation was on a five-day visit to discuss key issues relating to the border, including smuggling of narcotics, repatriation of prisoners, and unprovoked firing by Indian BSF. Pakistan Rangers had to face severe criticism from the hardliners and the conservative groups here after photographs of Rangers officers appeared on the newspapers, showing them visiting the holy sites of Hindus and Sikhs while covering their heads to pay respect. “During recent visit to India, their (BSF) attitude was very positive towards us. But this clever move regarding the discovery of underground tunnel, has disappointed us since it was an attempt to tarnish Pakistan’s image in India,” a senior officer of Pak Rangers said. When pointed out that the Director General BSF stated that the detection of cross border ‘underground tunnel’ may have an impact on Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) between India and Pakistan, he replied, “We reaffirm that the move would definitely affect CBMs. But this move has been initiated from their side and not from our side.” In a renewed push for a peace settlement, developing goodwill, and achieving ultimate goals of establishing good neighbourly relations with Pakistan, India has ended its policy of ban on foreign investment from Pakistan. The decision, on its face value appears to have its merits as Pakistani citizens or any entity incorporated in Pakistan will be able to make investments in India in fields other than defence, space and atomic energy. India claims to have taken a positive initiative to build trust and confidence between the two rival States, with a view to find a way forward to resolve harsher disputes such as Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek and water disputes. Pakistani business community has also welcomed the move, hoping that Indian decision to allow their (Indian) investors to invest in Pakistan would bring more positive change in improving relations between India and Pakistan. “We can simply say that India and Pakistan are directing their peace efforts into trade diplomacy. The signs and symbols seem encouraging with optimistic tone and healthy tenor,” a political analyst commented. Similarly, President Asif Ali Zardari’s invitation to Indian PM Manmohan Singh to visit Pakistan has already been accepted, creating fresh hopes in improving relations between the two countries. Both India and Pakistan are attaching more symbolism with the Indian Premier’s visit to Pakistan, rather than its predictable outcome given the strategic impediments preventing both Indo-Pak leaders to make independent decisions, to resolve the real outstanding issues. “Crux of the matter is that Indians are very prudent in their moves to promote the peace process with Pakistan.” Independent observers further said that Pakistan must move forward with due care knowing Indian deep seated animosity towards Pakistan and their clever but wicked moves to engage Pakistan into business and trade activities.