Mehbooba thanks PM Modi, Rajnath Singh for Ramadan ceasefire in Kashmir

Governance       Centre accepts Mehbooba’s demand announces ceasefire for the month of Ramzan
       
       	        Rahiba R. Parveen         16 May 2018

The Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday informed that the Centre has asked security force not to launch operations in the state of Jammu and Kashmir during the month of Ramazan. "My gratitude also to the leaders and parties who participated in the All Party Meeting and helped build consensus towards this announcement", the CM said in a tweet. The "people-centric" decision came with the important caveat that the armed forces will have the right to retaliate if challenged by terrorists or if such action is essential to protect lives of innocent people.

"As Ramzan and Yatra are coming, we must try to take steps that will help restore the confidence of people of the state, " she said, adding, "An atmosphere needs be to created in which Eid as well as the Yatra pass peacefully". Since New Delhi has so far scoffed at a political dialogue as the way ahead in Kashmir, it's to be seen if the Centre has anything in mind beyond Ramzan even if the terrorists refrain from attacks and the ceasefire holds.

Terming the unilateral ceasefire as a "ploy to hoodwink the public opinion on both national and global level", the separatists advised Indian authorities to shun "arrogance and accept Kashmir as a dispute".

"I hope that everybody supports this initiative", Mehbooba Mufti said while responding to the government's decision.

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The last time the Union government announced an unilateral ceasefire during the month of Ramzan was in 2000, during the Vajpayee government's tenure. Mir also thanked all the parties who spoke in unison to demand the Ramazan ceasefire.

However, BJP's J&K spokesman Sunil Sethi in a press conference that a unilateral ceasefire is not in the national interest under the present circumstances.

The ordinance contains provisions relating to child friendly procedures and reporting, recording of evidence, investigation and trial of offences; establishment of special courts for speedy trial and makes it mandatory for educational institutions to ensure safety and protection of children and not to expose them to any kind of sexual abuse. Hostilities continued, however, with more than 800 persons killed, according to figures compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal.

Nuclear-armed India and Pakistan each administer part of Kashmir, but both claim it in its entirety.

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