As Ramzan Ends Ceasefire Hangs In Balance

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As Ramzan Ends Ceasefire Hangs In Balance
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Asem Mohiuddin

Now the Ramzan is coming to an end and people will get busy in Eid celebrations across Kashmir, however, the relief that was reflected after New Delhi announced the unilateral Ramzan ceasefire is proving short-lived as there has been no letup in the militant attacks.

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It is not clear whether the ceasefire will be extended beyond the month of Ramzan, however, Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh who recently concluded his two day visit to J&K had dropped enough hints that ceasefire could be extended. “After reviewing the situation, we will take decision about the ceasefire,’’ Singh told reporters in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district where Home Minister met several delegations last week. J&K chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti had been strongly recommending the extension of ceasefire and also urging separatist leadership to respond to the positive signals emerging from New Delhi. Mufti had conveyed to the Home Minister that government should extend the ceasefire for the sake of the people.

Even J&K chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti has again retreated that separatist leadership should use the ceasefire as an opportunity to initiate dialogue with the Centre. The J&K chief minister said that mainstream politicians have played there role and now ball was in the court of the separatist leadership.  Though militants have rejected the ceasefire, but separatist leadership has not out rightly rejected and asked New Delhi to clear the air visavis dialogue offer. As separatist leadership claims that offer is still vague.

On ground though situation has improved and common people have heaved a sigh of relief especially in south Kashmir where killing of civilians and local freshly recruited militants  was becoming a daily affair which was brewing anger among the masses. Though people felt the relief on ground zero, but militants seem to have no mood in stopping the attacks on the forces. In past two weeks, there were 15 back to back grenade attacks in different parts of Kashmir, besides, attempts of rifle snatching and attacks on the army and police camps. The killing of two policemen on Tuesday morning in Pulwama is a reminder how fragile ceasefire is and hawks could easily derail the process pointing towards these attacks on daily basis.

‘’With the militant organisations doing their best to make sure the ceasefire is a failure they will only have themselves to blame if the security forces come back at them even harder when the ceasefire ends,’’ former J&K chief minister and NC vice president, Omar Abdullah said.

 It remains to be seen whether ceasefire will be extended by the government. Though sources are saying that despite the attacks, Centre will extend the ceasefire as still many people within the security establishment want the extension of ceasefire.

On Friday, in the sermon on the occasion of Jamitul Vida, Hurriyat Conference Chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq also said that they will see if India has changed its policy vis-à-vis Kashmir and Pakistan. “If true then we welcome it,’’ he said while slogans reverberated in the Jamia Masjid.

Mirwaiz who is also part of Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) said that it remains to be seen whether there is a change in policy, approach or change in the circumstances. “Time will tell us. If it is change in the policy, we have welcomed it in the past and will also do the same in future.’’

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Mirwaiz said that there are only two ways to resolution of Kashmir dispute. “Either it needs to be resolved through an international agreements or India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir will have to sit to resolve this issue.’

Mirwaiz said that Indian leadership speaks one language in Kashmir and once they reach Delhi they change their tune.

 The Hurriyat leader blaming India for launching operation wipe out in Kashmir and said more than 250 youths in one year were killed. “We are not in a hurry and people should show unity. It’s our unity which has forced India to think that force can’t weaken the resolve the people,’’ he said and added that now army top brass have also realised that they can’t win this war by excessive use of force.

It now remains to be seen what New Delhi will decide, however, if operations are again resumed then again vicious cycle of violence will again begin in the state which has already lost thousands of people in past three decades. Time has come when both government and separatist leadership should give peace a chance for the future of young generation.

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