India announced Wednesday that its troops will halt counterinsurgency operations in disputed Kashmir during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
The previous ceasefire, which was announced by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and extended twice - January 24, 2001 and on February 22 of the same year - also witnessed an attack on former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah. The announcement came ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Jammu and Kashmir on May 19. During Ramzan, Indian forces will now not initiate anti-militant actions and will act only in self-defence or to protect innocent persons.
Mir said that Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has emerged as a strong leader with conviction who has fought for the aspirations of her people.
Jammu Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party (JKDFP) on Thursday said that government have turned the disputed territory into a slaughter field where people are being killed and maimed for their different political ideologies.More news: European Union moves to block United States sanctions on Iran
Earlier, Mufti had demanded a unilateral ceasefire by the security forces during Ramzan and Amarnath yatra in the valley.
Terming the unilateral ceasefire as a "ploy to hoodwink the public opinion on both national and worldwide level", the separatists advised Indian authorities to shun "arrogance and accept Kashmir as a dispute".
"Political backup and political dialogue with dissenting voices and Pakistan is a must for success of this initiative".
"The security forces must observe the ceasefire strictly and should fire only when fired upon", it said.More news: Uzbekistan assures USA on Afghanistan distribution route
He further said that if break is given in this peak of operation all out, it will not only help the militant groups to reunite but it will also help them to make a comeback with more energy and attack. At that time she was vehemently opposed by Jammu and Kashmir's BJP unit which asserted that such a step was not in "national interest".
In July 2000, a group of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commanders had declared a unilateral ceasefire, which was later withdrawn. But violence didn't stop and over 1,200, including 445 civilians, were killed in militancy related incidents during the four months of the ceasefire, according South Asia Terrorism Portal that curates data on terrorism in the region.
India has 500,000 troops in Kashmir, which is divided between India and Pakistan and claimed by both.More news: BSF trooper killed in Pakistan firing in Jammu