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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

J&K: In Valley, PDP blames militants, NC says it’s a setback for peace

The separatists, who had termed the Centre’s decision on May 17 to suspend operations as a “cruel joke”, are likely to respond after three of their top leaders, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik, meet to discuss the issue.

Written by Bashaarat Masood | Srinagar | Updated: June 18, 2018 7:00:18 am
J&K: In Valley, PDP blames militants, NC says it’s a setback for peace The PDP blamed militants for rejecting the initiative and doing “everything to provoke the security forces”, while its ruling partner BJP said the move did not work because “Pakistan and militants want to spill blood”.

SEPARATIST ORGANISATIONS in J&K were tightlipped Sunday over the Centre’s decision to not extend the suspension of security operations after Ramzan, while mainstream Opposition parties in the Valley described the decision as a setback to the peace process.

The PDP blamed militants for rejecting the initiative and doing “everything to provoke the security forces”, while its ruling partner BJP said the move did not work because “Pakistan and militants want to spill blood”.

The Valley, meanwhile, remained peaceful and there were no reports of any “cordon and search” operations by security forces.

READ | J&K: Wary of stone-pelters, Home Ministry seeks ‘full-body protectors’ for troops

The separatists, who had termed the Centre’s decision on May 17 to suspend operations as a “cruel joke”, are likely to respond after three of their top leaders, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik, meet to discuss the issue.

“Its (suspension of operations) failure is the failure of everyone, who wanted to give peace a chance,” Leader of Opposition and ex-CM Omar Abdullah said in a tweet.

Abdullah’s party National Conference said in a separate statement that the decision was a “collective failure of state and central governments”.

READ | Forces showed restraint, terrorists didn’t, J&K ceasefire over: Government

“It is disappointing but not entirely an unexpected development. The decision to announce the ceasefire was welcomed by us and we had expected that it would have been taken after due application of mind and with necessary back channel work,” NC spokesman Junaid Azim said. However, Azim said the killing of senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari last Thursday made the Centre’s decision “inevitable”.

J&K: In Valley, PDP blames militants, NC says it’s a setback for peace Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was keen to extend the ceasefire by at least two months. (File)

Speaking to The Indian Express, Minister for Public Works and senior PDP leader Naeem Akhtar said: “It is definitely a setback but we can’t fault Government of India. They acceded to our request and called ceasefire for Ramdhan. They (separatists) didn’t respond. The Centre appointed an interlocutor, granted amnesty (to stone-pelters), announced a ceasefire and offered a dialogue. But from Day One, there were efforts against it. Militant organisations rejected it and did everything to provoke the security forces.”

ALSO READ | Ramzan ceasefire an opportunity to engage with youth who have joined militancy: Lt Gen Satish Dua

The state Congress said the decision to was taken “without any ground work and was bound to fail”.

“It is a big setback. We were expecting that the ceasefire would last at least till the end of Amarnath Yatra,” state Congress president Ghulam Ahmad Mir told The Indian Express.

RELATED REPORT | Ramzan ceasefire: Militant attacks have not stopped after peace initiative; here are the latest incidents

“They (Centre) first took the decision (to announce suspension of operations) in haste without taking other political parties on board and now they have called it off without making a consensus. It is basically a policy failure on part of government,” he said.

BJP’s chief spokesperson in J&K Sunil Sethi described the Centre’s decision as a welcome step.

“A good initiative shown by the Government did not work as militants and Pakistan wanted to spill blood in Kashmir and terrorise people there. The militants will now be dealt in their language and it will be a fight to finish them,” said Sethi.

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