Mainstream political parties asking New Delhi to announce unilateral ceasefire during Ramadhan is a “cosmetic exercise” because the Chief Minister can take such a decision at her own level in the capacity of the chairperson of the Unified Headquarters, the Kashmiri business community said on Thursday.
The Unified Headquarters is the internal security grid comprising army, police, paramilitary forces, intelligence agencies and civilian authorities. The Chief Minister of the state is its head and has two sitting generals (heading two Corps in the state) as advisors.
An all-party meeting called by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday asked the Government of India to stop anti-militancy operations in the coming months during which Ramadhan would be observed and Amarnath Yatra held.
“Going to centre government for seeking unilateral ceasefire without sincerity is nothing but a cruel joke with people of Kashmir. I fail to understand why doesn’t CM Mehbooba Mufti take this decision at her own level first as she heads the Unified Headquarters of forces who are responsible for killings and conducting the Operation All Out in Kashmir,” said chairman Kashmir Economic Alliance Muhammad Yaseen Khan.
“We have no hope from this decision as RSS-led government has its own agenda of carrying out genocide of Kashmiris and they are doing it. Only way to stop bloodshed is to initiate a dialogue with all shades of opinion in order to resolve the pending K-dispute,” he added.
Chairman Kashmir Economic Forum Showkat Chowdhary said the ceasefire proposal was “good” but one must wait for New Delhi’s response.
“Bullet is no solution to any problem. The dialogue would be held if bullets are not fired and ceasefire is announced,” he said.
“We condemn civilian killings and no society will accept such repressive measures. The repressive measures adopted by police and government forces have only backfired and resulted in the more killings of civilians,” he said.
President of his faction of the Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation Bashir Ahmad Rather also called the ceasefire proposal as a “cosmetic exercise”.
“They (mainstream) parties could not stop use of pellet guns despite parliamentary panel recommending disbanding its use. It needs to be seen how they could pursue New Delhi to announce a unilateral ceasefire when BJP, the ally of PDP, has criticised the decision taken at the all-party meeting,” Rather said.
Farhan Kitab, chief spokesperson of the KTMF faction led by Khan, said civilian killings should be stopped.
“Dialogue is the only way to stop bloodshed. People here are fighting for their rights not for economic packages. But given the track record of the current regime we have no hopes from this announcement till the government of India accepts it,” he said.