Mehbooba thanks Modi, Rajnath for Ramadhan Ceasefire, Omar calls it NICO


The Government of India on Wednesday announced a "conditional ceasefire" in Jammu and Kashmir during the holy month of Ramazan.

The ministry said it "expects everyone to cooperate in this initiative, and help the Muslim brothers and sisters to observe Ramzan peacefully, and without any difficulties".

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti told The Indian Express, "Home Minister Rajnath Singh called me to say the Centre had decided on a ceasefire during the month of Ramzan..."

It must be recalled that during the Vajpayee government's tenure, the Union government had announced a unilateral ceasefire during the month of Ramzan in 2000.

Mehbooba Mufti "wholeheartedly" welcomed the initiative and thanked Modi and Rajnath Singh "for their personal intervention". "The Army's position is that it has to be firm on terrorism". "This is a month of limitless mercies from The Creator and let us bow before Him in prayers, remember the helpless during fasting and seek His mercy in the night long prayers", she said in her message. This reminds me of Atal ji's era when he announced a unilateral ceasefire.

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The Chief Minister urged all groups to reciprocate positively to the gesture which is aimed at giving relief to the people of the State who have seen enough torment and tragedy.

In the all-party Meeting that was held last week, Mehbooba Mufti had proposed that the Centre should consider a unilateral ceasefire in the state starting from Ramzan in mid-May until the completion of the Amarnath yatra in August.

"This gesture does not mean security forces will be sitting ducks". Operations will be conducted based on specific intelligence about the presence of militants and retaliate if the army, paramilitary or police comes under attack, they said adding "our concerns have been met".

These would include cordon-and-search operations (CASO) that have seen almost 270 terrorists being killed in 2017 and 2018, and have lately become a trigger for local stone-pelting protests. Any attempt to increase attacks by Pakistan-trained militants will be forcibly retaliated and sources said the counter-infiltration grid shall remain active and will foil any attempt by terrorists to sneak across the LoC and global border. "Wish them good luck (sic)".