The central government on Wednesday announced a ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir during Ramadan, saying this was necessary to help “peace loving Muslims” observe the holy month in a peaceful environment.
A statement from the Home Ministry said that security forces had been told not to launch operations in Jammu and Kashmir during the holy month.
The decision was taken "to help the peace loving Muslims observe Ramzan in a peaceful environment", it said.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh conveyed the decision to Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who had made an appeal for a Ramadan ceasefire in the state on May 9.
But the statement said that security forces would reserve the right to retaliate if attacked or if it was essential to protect the lives of innocent people.
“Government expects everyone to cooperate in this initiative and help the Muslim brothers and sisters to observe Ramzan peacefully and without any difficulties. It is important to isolate the forces that bring a bad name to Islam by resorting to mindless violence and terror,” the statement said.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and opposition National Conference leader Omar Abdullah welcomed the Centre’s decision to not launch any security operations in Jammu and Kashmir during the holy month of Ramzan.
"I wholeheartedly welcome the Ramadan ceasefire and would like to thank Narendra Modiji Rajnath Singhji for their intervention. My gratitude also to the leaders and parties who participated in the All Party Meeting and helped build consensus towards this announcement," Mehbooba said in a tweet following the Centre's announcement.
Omar said if the militants did not respond in kind to the Centre's unilateral halt on operations during the month of Ramzan, they will be exposed as enemies of the people.
With inputs from agencies
Click here to subscribe to National Herald on WhatsApp