Srinagar: All eyes are set on Thursday’s crucial security review meeting at New Delhi where a decision whether to continue the “Ramazan ceasefire” or not will be taken.
The meeting will be second of its kind after the one chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh at the SKICC here in Srinagar recently. The security establishment said at that meeting that the ceasefire had been “70 percent successful”.
Top security officials of J&K will fly to Delhi to give their fresh feedback on the existing situation. What remains to be seen is whether New Delhi will extend the ceasefire to prod the Hurriyat leadership into sitting for negotiations.
A top police official said that the decision on extending the ceasefire will be taken after reviewing the state’s security situation, and after discussion with top security officials of the state.
The state’s legislators, especially those who represent volatile south Kashmir areas, are unanimously in favour of extending the ceasefire.
“Since the ceasefire it can clearly be seen that the situation has remained peaceful in south Kashmir,” said Aijaz Ahmed Mir, the MLA from Wachi area of Shopian district. “No civilian killing, no encounter took place, and stone-pelting incidents and protests declined almost to zero. People heaved a sigh of relief. Business activity remained smooth in Shopian district during the ceasefire.”
MLA Pulwama Mohd Khalil Band and MLA Tral Mushtaq Ahmed Shah both said that the ceasefire should be extended. Shah said, “We are expecting the situation to improve further and peace prevailing in Kashmir. We appeal to the Government of India to deal with the Kashmir situation politically.”
Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat has also favoured dialogue on Kashmir, saying “peace should be given a chance.”
“Talks must happen. The issue is that a lot of locals are joining militancy. We kill them and more join. Infiltration can be controlled, but this cycle of recruitment of local youth can go on and on. So, let’s give peace a chance and see,” Rawat told a newspaper.