A Pakistan-India civil society organization has urged their nations to cease fighting across the disputed Kashmir border, saying that civilians are bearing the brunt of a conflict that could escalate. "The civilians living in the border villages are the worst victims as they live in constant fear of death and destruction," said a statement by the Pakistan-India Peoples' Forum for Peace and Democracy. "Schools have been shut in these areas and students are deprived of studies. All families are facing mental trauma. The hard reality is they cannot go to any 'safer areas' as the harvesting season is on," read the statement about fighting that has seen 24 people killed so far. In the most recent casualty report, the BBC
said that Pakistani artillery killed eight civilians on Nov.1 and six the day before. Earlier, six Pakistani civilians were killed. "We sincerely appeal to both the governments to take urgent steps to reduce the tension and end all cross border firing. Any escalation of tension is against the interest of both states and the common people," said the statement. The Kashmir region has been a sensitive issue for both India and Pakistan ever since they become two different nations in 1947 when British rule ended in the subcontinent. The nuclear powers have fought at least three major wars over Kashmir.