Ramzan ceasefire: Centre halts Army operations in Kashmir during holy month

Ramzan ceasefire: Centre halts Army operations in Kashmir during holy month”

The ministry said that the decision to halt operations was taken to "help the peace-loving Muslims observe Ramzan in a peaceful environment".

However, Indian security forces, of which there are an estimated 500,000 in Kashmir, "reserve the right to retaliate if attacked", the ministry added. Centre in a statement said that it is crucial to isolate the forces those who bring a bad name to Islam.

Mufti welcomed the Centre's decision, thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Rajnath Singh for their personal intervention.

However, Pakistan based Lashkar-e-Taiba terror outfit rejected the offer while terrorists of unidentified groups challenged security forces in at least two gun-battles, both before and after the announcement of unilateral suspension of counter-insurgency operations by the government.

"The government has issued instructions to the security forces and army not to undertake offensive operations during the period of Ramazan in Jammu and Kashmir", the Centre said in a statement, a week after the defence minister had indicated that the iron-fist policy would continue. "Now if the militants don't respond in kind they will stand exposed as the true enemies of the people", he wrote on Twitter.

Abdullah said he hoped the ceasefire would lead to peace not only within Jammu and Kashmir but also with Pakistan. "Unilateral ceasefire in the present situation is not in national interest at all", a spokesperson of BJP, who was present at the all-party meeting, had asserted.

Earlier in the day, the Home Minister informed the Chief Minister of the decision.

He said the decision reminded him of Atal Bihari Vajpayee's era when he announced a "unilateral ceasefire".

This came about as terrorists were able to move freely and attack security forces and vital installations with nearly total impunity.

Another official said it is a matter of regret that over the last few years, terrorists have indulged in large-scale bloodshed not only in India but also in other parts of the world during the holy month.This has caused vast sufferings to peace-loving Muslims adhering to the true tenets of Islam.

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