The Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has suggested that the Centre should consider a unilateral ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir starting from Ramzan in mid May till the completion of the Amarnath yatra in August.
She made these remarks after chairing a four-hour all-party meeting, which was convened to discuss the present situation in the Kashmir Valley especially after a tourist from Chennai died due to stone pelting on May 7 leading to massive outrage and widespread condemnation.
Mufti appealed to all shades of opinion in joining in the mission to get the state out of violence and bloodshed.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, she said, “Everyone (all parties) agreed that we should appeal to the Centre to consider a ceasefire like the unilateral ceasefire in (former PM Atal Bihari) Vajpayee’s time in Ramzan (later this month) till Amarnath yatra and Eid.”
She said a ceasefire would provide relief to the people and help create a better atmosphere in the state.
“The Centre should think on these lines so that the common people get some relief because they are facing many difficulties due of encounters, crackdowns and search operations,” she said.
“Now, Ramzan is starting, then (Amarnath) yatra is taking place, so we should try to take such steps which restore the confidence of the people and a better atmosphere is created in which Eid is celebrated in a good way and yatra also takes place well,” the chief minister said.
Mufti said many participants suggested taking an all-party delegation to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to express concern over the situation and request him to implement what “he said on August 15 (last year) about embracing the people of the state, about how do we reach out to the people, especially the youth.”
“That is all that we have been able to build a consensus on so far,” Mufti said.
She said all the participants agreed that if the ‘Agenda of Alliance’ (AoA)– the common minimum programme between the PDP and the BJP – is implemented, the situation in the state can get better.
Newly-appointed Deputy Chief Minister Kavinder Gupta also stressed on close cooperation between the government and the opposition in tackling issues confronting the state.
Earlier, the main opposition party, the National Conference (NC), said just having meetings would serve no purpose and the need was to take steps which diffuse the situation.
“We told her (Mufti) that it was good that we did not participate in the all-party meeting of 2016 because it achieved no result till now. Such meets took place before also but there was no result as well,” NC general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar, who led the opposition party’s delegation, said.
“If the chief minister wants to practically do something for diffusing the situation, diffusing the alienation among the people, then some steps have to be taken,” he said.
The NC leader also demanded a special session of the state’s legislature to discuss the prevailing situation in the Valley.
“They are having a special session of the Assembly tomorrow (for electing the Speaker). We demanded a three-day Assembly session so that representatives of people discuss the situation,” he said.
Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) president G A Mir said the PDP-BJP government had no remedy for stopping “this bloodshed”.
“We discussed the situation. Overall, we felt that the BJP and PDP have not yet had discussions between the state and the Centre over the implementation of the AoA. We felt that they have never had discussions on it, so how should we expect that they will make the situation better.