The ceasefire was announced on May 16 by the Centre to provide a conducive environment to the civilians to observe the holy Islamic month of Ramzan. But during the one-month long period, the border state witnessed a sudden rise in terror activities.
The Centre’s announcement on Sunday over its decision to discontinue the unilateral ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir and that operations against terrorists in the Valley will resume has evoked mixed reactions from politicians in the state. While alliance partners BJP and PDP are speaking in two voices, the measure has evoked different views from other ends of the political spectrum as well.
While the BJP has welcomed the government’s decision, several parties including the ruling PDP expressed unhappiness over the Centre’s call not to extend the ceasefire. When the partial ceasefire was announced last month, it was widely expected that it will continue post-Eid and will be withdrawn only after the culmination of the Amarnath Yatra which will begin on June 28 and end on August 26.
Rafi Ahmad Mir, a spokesperson of the PDP, said that the party is unhappy with the Centre’s decision on withdrawal of data. “The party was not happy with the decision announced by the Union Home Ministry in view of the unending violence during Ramadan, blamed mostly on militants,” Mir told media.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said that the end to the ceasefire following its failure to end terror attacks marks an end to anyone who wanted to ensure peace in the Valley. “The ceasefire was the Centre’s initiative… Its failure is the failure of everyone who wanted to give peace a chance,” Abdullah said.
Refuting that the end of ceasefire indicated a failure of peace efforts, Kavinder Gupta, J&K Deputy CM and BJP leader said that the cease-ops was only temporary. “This was just suspension of operations. A befitting reply will be given to everyone who indulged in such activities,” he said.
The Ministry of Home Affairs, which is primarily responsible for the country’s security — including in the troubled state — said in a statement that the government has decided not to extend the suspension of operations in J&K that was announced at the beginning of Ramzan. The statement appreciated the security forces for exercising maximum restraint in the last one month despite grave provocation by the terrorists. It said that security forces are being directed to take all necessary actions as earlier to prevent the militants from launching attacks and indulging in violence and killings.
The ceasefire was announced on May 16 by the Centre to provide a conducive environment to the civilians to observe the holy Islamic month of Ramzan. But during the one-month long period, the border state witnessed a sudden rise in terror activities. According to official data, as many as 65 terror incidents were reported from different parts of the state during last one month. At least 39 people were killed in terror-related incidents. Those killed include nine security officials, six civilians and 24 terrorists. Of the 24 terrorists killed, 22 were gunned down along the Line of Control.
The government’s decision comes two days after a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Home Minister Rajnath Singh, NSA Ajit Doval and others. Jitendra Singh, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office said that the priority of the government was to ensure that the AMarnath Yatra is conducted peacefully. “The priority for the government was to conduct the upcoming Amarnath Yatra and the decision not to extend the truce followed by inputs from security forces and intelligence agencies,” Singh said.
The government’s decision, however, came in for criticism from the Left with CPI(M) leader Muhammad Yusuf Tarigami, terming the end in cease-ops as unfortunate. “Whatever the compulsions and the provocation, the decision not to extend the ceasefire is unfortunate. The common Kashmiri had heaved a sigh of relief and that hope has now vanished.”
In another related development, the Centre’s special representative Dineshwar Sharma will reach the Valley today where he will hold talks with people to assess their views. He is expected to stay here till Saturday.