Mehbooba appeals for ceasefire during Ramadan 

Mehbooba appeals for ceasefire during Ramadan 

Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti. PTI file photo

Regional People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday requested the government of India to announce a ceasefire during the holy month of Ramadan or Ramzan, which is set to begin next week.

“People pray day and night and go to mosques. I would like to appeal to the Government of India that just like there was a ceasefire during Ramadan last year, crackdowns, search operations should be stopped so that people of J&K spend at least this one month in relief,” she said, while addressing a press conference at her Gupkar residence in Srinagar.

She also made an appeal to the militants to reciprocate and not make any attacks during Ramadan. “I would also like to appeal to the militants that Ramadan is a month of worship and prayers. They should not make any attacks during this time,” the PDP chief appealed.

Responding to call for a unilateral ceasefire in J&K by Mehbooba, then heading PDP-BJP alliance, the Center had on May 6 asked security forces not to launch anti-militancy operations in the state during the holy month of Ramazan.

The decision was welcomed by political parties and leaders across the country and hailed by the Kashmiris.

Mehbooba also said that the highway ban had crippled the already ailing economy of the valley. She also pointed out that hundreds of youth have been picked up by the forces in South Kashmir, especially from Pulwama and Shopian.

“In such an environment when the GoI has declared war on Kashmiris, when all their spaces, political as well as economical have been choked, a ceasefire should be declared by New Delhi,” the former CM said.

Earlier in 2000, the then NDA government, headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, had taken a similar initiative by announcing a unilateral suspension of anti-insurgency operations in the state during Ramadan, which continued for five months from November to May 2001.