BJP's Jammu and Kashmir unit today opposed Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti's call for a unilateral ceasefire during the month of Ramzan till completion of the Amarnath Yatra claiming such a step was not at all in "national interest".
BJP’s Jammu and Kashmir unit today opposed Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s call for a unilateral ceasefire during the month of Ramzan till completion of the Amarnath Yatra claiming such a step was not at all in “national interest”. The party’s state unit said militants were demoralised due to Army action and a unilateral ceasefire would ease pressure and allow them to re-energise. Referring to an all party meeting held yesterday, BJP state unit’s chief spokesperson Sunil Sethi said an opinion came up during the discussion for a unilateral ceasefire on the lines of one declared by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.
“We have a strong view…Unilateral ceasefire in the present situation is not in national interest at all,” he added. Flanked by another BJP spokesperson Arun Gupta, Sethi said the terrorist leadership in Kashmir Valley was under pressure because of the prolonged efforts of the Army. “There are large scale casualties of militants taking place on daily basis. Currently militants are holed up. They are under pressure”, he said.
The raising of the demand for unilateral ceasefire is aimed to give a way out to the demoralised militants, ease pressure, and to save them, he said. Yesterday, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who heads the PDP-BJP government in the state, had said Centre should consider a unilateral ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir starting from Ramzan in mid May till the completion of the Amarnath yatra in August. She made the remarks after a four-hour all-party meeting, which was convened to discuss the situation in the Kashmir Valley especially after a tourist from Chennai was killed in stone pelting on May 7.
Speaking here today, Sethi said the state BJP was not at all of this opinion. He also emphasised that a call for a unilateral ceasefire was not a unanimous decision at the meeting. The issue was raised by Independent MLA Engineer Rashid , Sethi claimed. There was no debate on it and BJP did not agree to it, he told reporters here.
“Our point is clear that pressure created by Army on the terrorists should continue along with ‘operation all out’ and to a large extent listed militants have been eliminated and only few among them are active,” Sethi said. The way the ‘operation all out’ is continuing, soon all militants will be wiped out from Kashmir, he said. It was a different time and situation when a unilateral ceasefire was undertaken by the then Vajpayee government on the borders and in the hinterland, he said.
The BJP spokesperson said militancy was in its last phase and it would be not a wise decision to go for a unilateral ceasefire. Kashmir will return to peace and normalcy in the same way as the peace and normalcy prevailed in Punjab, he said. On stone pelting in Kashmir, Sethi said there were “stone pelting units” operating from Shopian to Baramulla in Kashmir. They keep moving from place to place to engineer stone pelting on Army and para military forces, he said.
He said relaxation of any type at this stage will mean stepping back on the process of restoration of normalcy in Kashmir. “Today’s stone pelter is a potential terrorist of tomorrow. We will not agree are buy any argument that the hands of army should be tied,” he added. Taking a dig at the withdrawal of FIRs against first-time stone pelters, the BJP leader said government did not achieve the desired results. “First-time stone pelters continue to resort to stone pelting and have not stopped pelting stones post amnesty. It is a serious issue and we need to review the amnesty scheme”, he said.