Mehbooba Mufti Calls for Peace, Urges Centre, Militants to Announce Ceasefire During Ramzan
Mehbooba said Ramzam ceasefire would be an opportunity for PM Narendra Modi to prove that he was following former prime minister AB Vajpayee's policy of 'insaniyat', 'jhamooriyat' and 'Kashmiriyat'.
Srinagar: PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday appealed to the Centre and militants to announce ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir for the Muslim fasting month of Ramzan so that the "people get some relief".
"The month of Ramzan is starting after a couple of days and so, I appeal to the Government of India that ours is a Muslim-majority state and people, here, are facing difficulties.
"It is a month of prayer and so I request them (Centre) to announce a ceasefire like last year so that crackdowns, search operations and encounters are stopped and people get some relief," the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister told reporters here.
She also asked the militants to stop attacks on security forces. "I also want to tell militants that they should understand that this blessed month is a month of prayer and repentance and so they should not carry out any attack in this month," she said.
Ramzan is likely to commence from Monday or Tuesday. The Union government had in May, last year, directed security forces not to launch operations in Jammu and Kashmir during Ramzan to help Muslims observe the holy month in a "peaceful environment".
Mehbooba was at that time heading a PDP-BJP coalition government in the state and had requested the Centre to announce the ceasefire.
However, the ceasefire was ended by the Centre exactly after a month as militant attacks continued during the period. Soon after the BJP withdrew support to the PDP.
Mehbooba said Ramzam ceasefire would be an opportunity for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to prove that he was following former prime minister AB Vajpayee's policy of 'insaniyat', 'jhamooriyat' and 'Kashmiriyat'.
"Modi keeps on saying that he wants to follow Vajpayee's policy of insaniyat, jhamooriyat and Kashmiriyat and I feel that announcing a Ramzan ceasefire will be the biggest proof of democracy and humanity," she said.
The former chief minister said while elections were going on in the country, the Centre had turned Jammu and Kashmir "into a battlefield" and slammed decisions like ban on Jamaat-e-Islami and JKLF, suspension of cross-LoC trade and the closure of highway for civilian traffic for two days a week.
The PDP president said since the elections started, youths have been arrested "in the name of stone-pelting" especially from south Kashmir from where she is contesting the Lok Sabha election.
Asked if anti-militancy operations like the one on Friday in Shopian would have any impact on the polling in the two districts of Shopian and Pulwama in the last leg of the three-phased election in the Anantnag parliamentary constituency, Mehbooba said naturally, it would.
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