CPM asks govt to extend unilateral ceasefire in Kashmir

CPM asks govt to extend unilateral ceasefire in Kashmir

The CPM on Thursday asked the government to extend the suspension of anti-militant operations for another specific period and withdraw pellet guns to regain the trust of Kashmiris.

The Left party also wanted the government to initiate dialogue with Pakistan while insisting that it should not be conditional.

In an editorial in party mouthpiece 'Peoples Democracy', the CPM said what is required to start a meaningful dialogue with Kashmiris is to take steps to restore "some degree of trust".

"This requires a set of measures. Rajnath Singh...should extend the ceasefire for another specified period. In order to signal a change from the brutal repressive policy adopted so far, the authorities should announce the withdrawal of the use of pellet guns against stone-pelters and protesting youth," it said.

The pitch for the extension of the suspension of operations came as the CPM feels that the present ceasefire has resulted in an improvement in the situation.

The CPM suggested that separatist leaders like Shabir Shah should be released from jail and there should be an announcement that excesses committed by security forces will be investigated and prompt action would be taken.

“If such measures are announced along with a specific offer for holding talks with the separatist leadership, then there is scope for a political dialogue to begin," it said.

However, the CPM felt that Kashmiris at present "do not have much faith in the prospects" of a political dialogue because the situation has “steadily deteriorated” since Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed office.

“The adoption of a hardline security stance and the use of coercive instruments of the state to suppress popular protests have only given a spurt to militancy which has now been energised by the influx of a large number of local youth,” it added.

On talks with Pakistan, the editorial said talks cannot be conditional to what both home minister and defence minister stated that talks and terror cannot go together.

Referring to the interactions between the national security advisers as well as that of the directors general of military operations of both the countries, the editorial stated that there is "no reason" why a broader dialogue cannot be initiated with Pakistan.

It suggested a diplomatic initiative on the Pakistan front like the one Modi sought to arrive at with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Wuhan.