Srinagar, Jun 18: The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and opposition political parties, including National Conference and Congress, have termed suspension of Ramadhan ceasefire as unfortunate.
However, PDP’s coalition partner in the government, the BJP, welcoming the decision by the centre, said it is the only way to counter militancy.
“The decision to suspend Ramadhan ceasefire is unfortunate. The operations against militants were suspended by the centre on the request of state government and other political parties so that normalcy could be restored in the valley,” a senior PDP leader said.
However, he said it proved to be one sided decision as militant attacks intensified during this period, making it impossible for the centre to extend the ceasefire. “Many people died during this period, including senior leader and Risking Kashmir Editor in Chief Shujaat Bukhari. So such an atmosphere was created where it appeared that the ceasefire had no success,” he said.
“It is the responsibility of all stake holders to support such initiatives. So in future, all stakeholders have to extend support to such initiatives so that conducive atmosphere is built to initiate meaningful dialogue to resolve Kashmir issue,” he added.
BJP leaders have, however, welcomed the decision by the centre to end the Ramadhan ceasefire. “Militants were taking advantage of the ceasefire. Pakistan and militants didn’t even spare Eid… It was necessary to resume operations against militants as they only understand the language of guns. It is the only way to counter militancy,” J&K Legislative Assembly Speaker Nirmal Singh said.
However, taking a dig at all those who are celebrating failure of Ramadhan ceasefire, Vice President of opposition National Conference (NC) Omar Abdullah said these people are celebrating its failure as if it had been announced by enemy.
“The ceasefire or NICO was the Centre’s initiative & yet these people are celebrating its failure as if it had been announced by our enemies. It’s failure of everyone who wanted to give peace a chance,” Mr Abdullah, who is the former chief minister of the state, wrote on micro-blogging site.
Meanwhile, NC chief spokesperson Aga Ruhullah said the decision to suspend operations against militants was taken without going any homework. “There are two aspects f ceasefire. When the announcement was made by the centre, NC had asked it to back ceasefire with a political initiative. But no such thing happened,” he said.
He said the centre had done no homework before announcing ceasefire. “Had the centre worked out a plan before announcing ceasefire things would have been different,” he added.
Ruhulla said NC had also appealed militants to end attacks.
Hitting out at the centre, Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) chief G A Mir said no one was consulted before announcing halting of operations against militants and on one was approached before the ceasefire was called off.
“No homework was done and no ground report was looked at before taking the decision to halting operating against militants. It was necessary to consult people and built a consensus on the ceasefire. And it was required to back the initiative by political dialogue, but no such thing happened,” he Mir added.
Terming the decision of BJP-led Centre not to extend Ramadhan ‘ceasefire’ in the state as unfortunate, senior CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami said the halt on security force operations against the militants had brought some relief to the people of the valley.
“The decision of the Centre to halt operations against militants in the month of Ramadhan from May 17, had brought some relief to the common people. It had also opened a window of opportunity to initiate talks with all stake holders. But by putting an end to ‘ceasefire’, the Centre has once again closed that window,” Tarigami said.
He said the Ramadhan ‘ceasefire’ should have been backed by more Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) and political initiative, to reach out to all shades of political thinking.
“Despite risks, Ramadhan ‘ceasefire’ and CBMs would have provided some breakthrough into holding meaningful dialogues, to end bloodshed in the valley,” he added.
The Government of India (GoI) on Sunday decided not to extend the month-long unilateral ‘ceasefire’ during Ramadhan in Jammu and Kashmir.
While announcing the end of the temporary halt to the operations against militants, it asked the forces to resume anti-militancy operations in the state.
The Centre had announced unilateral ‘ceasefire’ in the state after an All Party Meeting headed by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, urged the BJP-led government at the Centre to halt operations against militants, in view of deteriorating situation in the valley.