Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday told Jammu Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti that her request of ceasefire during Ramzan has been accepted.
“Home Minister Rajnath Singh called me saying the Centre has decided a ceasefire during the month of Ramzan. It is very good news. I hope that everybody supports this initiative,” Mehbooba Mufti confirmed to The Indian Express.
In a statement issued, the Ministry of Home Affairs said: “The Centre asks Security Forces not to launch operations in Jammu & Kashmir during the holy month of Ramzan. Decision taken to help the peace loving Muslims observe Ramzan in a peaceful environment. Security Forces to reserve the right to retaliate if attacked or if essential to protect the lives of innocent people. Government expects everyone to cooperate in this initiative and help the Muslim brothers & sisters to observe Ramzan peacefully and without any difficulties,” the statement read.
“It is important to isolate the forces that bring a bad name to Islam by resorting to mindless violence and terror,” the MHA further said.
“The Centre has asked security forces not to launch operations in Jammu & Kashmir during the holy month of Ramzan,” PDP Youth Wing President Waheed Para said.
The last time the Union government announced an unilateral ceasefire during the month of Ramzan was in 2000, during the Vajpayee government’s tenure.
Reacting to the Centre’s announcement of the ceasefire, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah said in a tweet, “On the demand of all political parties (except the BJP, which had opposed it) the Centre has announced a unilateral ceasefire. Now if the militants don’t respond in kind they will stand exposed as the true enemies of the people.”