‘Parties advocating for ceasefire in J-K playing politics over Ramzan’

‘Parties advocating for ceasefire in J-K playing politics over Ramzan’

Jammu, May 12: Parties advocating a unilateral ceasefire by the Centre in Jammu and Kashmir are playing politics over Ramzan, Union minister Jitendra Singh said on Saturday and asserted that the government had a consistent policy with regard to Pakistan and terrorism.
“I want to ask a question to those who are suggesting a unilateral ceasefire whether they are true followers of Islam? As long as we understand Islam and Holy Quran, those who observe fast it is imperative for them not to indulge in any type of violence or harm anyone.”
“Instead of advising them (militants), suggesting others means that you are not faithful to Ramzan but you are playing politics over it,” Singh told reporters in Jammu.
On May 9, chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said the Centre should consider a unilateral ceasefire in the state starting from Ramzan in mid May till the completion of the Amarnath Yatra in August.
She made the remarks after chairing an all-party meeting, which was convened to discuss the present situation in Kashmir Valley, especially after a tourist from Chennai was killed in stone pelting on May 7.
“Everyone (all parties) agreed that we should appeal to the Centre to consider a ceasefire like the unilateral ceasefire in (former PM Atal Bihari) Vajpayee’s time during Ramzan (later this month) till Amarnath Yatra and Eid,” she had told reporters.
The Jammu and Kashmir unit of the BJP, which is sharing power with Mufti’s PDP, opposed her call for a unilateral ceasefire claiming such a step was not at all in “national interest”.
“An opinion came up during the discussion for a unilateral ceasefire on the lines of one declared by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. We have a strong view… Unilateral ceasefire in the present situation is not in national interest at all,” BJP state unit’s chief spokesperson Sunil Sethi earlier said.
Sethi said that militants were demoralised due to the Army’s action and a unilateral ceasefire would ease pressure and allow them to re-energise.
Union minister Singh asked why those advocating unilateral ceasefire on the pretext of Ramzan had not advised the terrorists.
“They (terrorists) are observing fast and in the Holy Quran they are directed not to indulge in any act of violence or harm anyone during fasting. They need to make understand this,” he said.
He said ceasefire was never one-sided. “If the other side makes a mercy plea, then it makes a sense,” he said.
Singh said the Centre had not received any proposal with regard to a ceasefire from the state government so far.
“It is their personal view (ceasefire during Ramzan) and there are people who make statements to address their constituencies. Home minister Rajnath Singh has made it clear that there is no such proposal,” he said.
On Mufti’s repeated plea for resumption of dialogue with Pakistan, he said it was the prerogative of the Centre.
“Every day it is being said (hold talks with Pakistan) but we have not done it till date. The Modi government is the only (dispensation) in the country which has taken a stand (on Pakistan, Jammu and Kashmir and terrorism) and has shown consistency and commitment,” the Union minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office said. (PTI)