Despite being asked to leave their villages, residents of Attari district have praised the Indian Army for its surgical strikes along the Line of Control (LoC) to neutralise terrorists from crossing over into India.
The government has ordered the evacuation of the civil population from villages falling in a 10 kilometer radius of the border with Pakistan.
A heavy rush was seen at petrol pumps as people tanked up their vehicles before driving off to safe havens.
“Many villagers witnessed the Kargil War and faced huge losses. So, they have decided to look forward to whatever happens now,” said a villager in Attari.
“Villagers are facing problems but whatever the Indian Army did, was correct,” he added.
Special prayers are being held at temples and gurudwaras as the region prepares for a possible attack. The emergency ward of the Pathankot Civil Hospital has been vacated and patients undergoing treatment have been shifted to other wards.
Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has put the entire government and political machinery in an emergency mode following developments on the India-Pakistan border. Badal also directed chief secretary Sarvesh Kaushal to immediately release Rs. one crore each to all deputy commissioners of six border districts to meet any exigency arising out of the prevailing situation.
Following the surgical strikes, the Border Security Force (BSF) has cancelled the ‘Retreat’ ceremony at the Attari-Wagah border joint check-post (JCP) at Attari, which is 30 kilometres from Amritsar.
The BSF and district authorities have asked visitors and tourists not to move towards Attari for the ceremony.