The tension prevailing in border areas has hit the business of Pathankot traders just before the festive season. Even as they had stocked up items for various festivals, they are left with no customers due to the evacuation orders following the Indian Army’s surgical strikes across the Line of Control recently.
Markets wear a deserted look in villages in Bamyal sector, situated very close to the International Border. Joginder Pal, a leading trader in the area, said: “I have been sitting idle since the morning. Only two customers have turned up to buy items of daily need.”
Joginder said he had purchased items for the festive season in large quantities, and now he expects to face huge losses. “I have a customer base in around 20 villages in the area. With these villages evacuated, I have lost source of my livelihood,” he said.
Surinder Kumar, another shopkeeper in Kathlore, said the threat will always persist and he has decided to move to a safer place away from the border to ensure his business is not affected time and again.
Farmers, too, are fearing losses, as they had to leave behind their standing crop. Although the chief minister has assured us that the Border Security Force (BSF) will assist us in farming near the border fence, the war-like situation is not conducive for any work,” said Surjit Singh, a farmer who resides in a border village.