OPPOSING J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s call for a “unilateral ceasefire” in view of Ramzan and Amarnath Yatra, BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Kavinder Gupta on Thursday said “it (ceasefire) is never a one-sided affair”.
Speaking to The Indian Express, he said: “If there is an appeal from their (militants’) side, only then we can think of it… Let them first make an appeal for it… It cannot be accepted that we announce a ceasefire, despite their (militants) continuous attacks on our security forces”.
Stating that “they (militants) will have to take the initiative”, he said, “we want the ceasefire to last forever, not just the month of Ramzan”. Gupta said that some participants had suggested a ceasefire during the all-party meeting on Wednesday, but there was no consensus.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting on Wednesday, Mufti had said that “the consensus of all was that we should appeal to the Government of India to consider… the unilateral ceasefire… The way (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee did a unilateral ceasefire in 2000… “
Gupta had then told The Indian Express that his party’s stand was “what the chief minister said”.
Stating that a unilateral ceasefire was “not in national interest”, Sunil Sethi, chief spokesperson of the state BJP unit, said, “Our point of view is that a ceasefire at this stage will not solve the problem. Rather it will aggravate it, as the Army has the upper hand at the moment…We have cornered the militants and this breathing period will be used by them to regroup.”
“For unilateral ceasefire, there has to be groundwork. Otherwise, whatever initiatives have been taken by security forces so far will go waste,” he said. “If we think of a unilateral ceasefire right now, it will mean that militants who are holed up at present will get a chance to run away. We do not think that a ceasefire is the solution right now,” said Sethi.
“The security situations is very serious. In Kashmir, stone-pelting is continuously going on and, unfortunately, one tourist has lost his life,” said Sethi. “The stone pelters and militants have to be dealt with sternly, and cannot be shown any relaxation,” he said.
“We told the CM at the all-party meeting on Wednesday that the state government cannot look towards the Centre for everything,” Sethi said. “Whenever there is a problem, you go to the Centre. It is primarily the duty of the state government to deal with it as a law and order problem, and it should do whatever is required to be done,” he said.