SRINAGAR: The all-party meet in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday advocated that the Centre should go for unilateral ceasefire during the forthcoming Muslim holy month of Ramzan and the ensuing Amarnath Yatra so that common people get some relief from the ongoing bloodshed in the Valley.
Chief minister Mehbooba Mufti had convened the meeting to discuss the worsening situation in the Valley that has seen frequent gunfights between militants and security forces and deaths of civilians in clashes during protests near these encounters. A tourist was killed on Monday in a stone-pelting incident near Srinagar.
“Everybody agreed that we should appeal to the central government to consider unilateral ceasefire during Ramzan, Amarnath Yatra and Eid like it had happened at the time of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government (November 2000) so that common people get some relief,” Mufti told reporters after the meeting.
Apart from the ruling PDP and BJP, the representatives of opposition National Conference and Congress participated in the meeting which lasted for more than four hours.
“Currently, encounters, search operations and crackdown have left the common man suffering. We should try to take such steps which will help in improving the confidence of common man,” said the chief minister.
The holy month of Ramzan will start in mid-May. The then Prime Minister Vajpayee had announced unilateral ceasefire in J&K during the holy month of Ramzan in November 2000. Earlier that year Hizbul Mujahideen had also announced ceasefire.
The situation is Kashmir has deteriorated over the past many months. The Valley was shut for three days till Tuesday following the killing of eight militants in two encounters since Saturday. Seven civilians have also been killed during clashes near the encounter sites.
As many as 41 people — including militants, civilians and security personnel — were killed in various instances of violence across Kashmir in April. More than 20 people have died so far this month.
The opposition has cornered the state government for not initiating dialogue with separatists despite it being a part of PDP-BJP agenda of alliance.
Mehbooba said everybody in the meeting was concerned about the current situation. “The killings are happening, our young children are getting attracted towards gun and stone pelting in which a youth of Tamil Nadu died. One positive thing was that every party sought to know that why the agenda of alliance (between BJP and PDP) was not being implemented,” the chief minister said.
“Everybody agreed that the implementation of agenda of alliance will have an (positive) impact on the situation in Kashmir,” she added.
The chief minister said the participants suggested of constituting an all-party delegation to apprise Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the emerging challenges in Jammu & Kashmir and the urgent need to reach out to people in the light of his Independence Day speech.
NC leader Ali Mohammad Sagar said the state government must take urgent steps to defuse the situation in the Valley. “You (Mehbooba) will have to talk to separatists like at the time of Vajpayee saheb. You will have to stop operation all out, cordons and searches and address human rights violations,” said Sagar. “We told CM that the central government is also responsible for the situation here. The PDP had talked of agenda of alliance and nothing has been implemented. For how long, New Delhi will turn a blind eye to Kashmir. The promises made have to be implemented,” he added.
Moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq dubbed the all-party convened by Mehbooba as a farce to mislead people into believing that the government is serious or can do something to bring people out of the current oppressive state. “Our suffering is an outcome of the draconian laws and legislation put in place here by New Delhi with the full cooperation and support of these pro-India parties,” added Mirwaiz.__Hindustan Times