The Centre on Wednesday pulled off a surprise by accepting Chief Minister Mebhooba Mufti's proposal to suspend anti-terror operations in J&K, saying the decision has been taken to help "peace-loving Muslims observe Ramzan in a peaceful environment". This can help the Muslim brothers and sisters to observe Ramzan peacefully.
Mufti welcomed the Centre's decision, thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Rajnath Singh for their personal intervention. He said this will pre-empt violence or any harm to innocent people and will lead to a new atmosphere of confidence building in the troubled state.
Former Chief Minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah asked the militants to reciprocate to provide relief to the people during the month of fasting. "We are in favor of negotiations but the talks of negotiations in presence of armed occupational forces in the region are lies", a LeT spokesman said in a statement to a Kashmir-based news agency. "Now if the militants don't respond in kind, they will stand exposed as the true enemies of the people", he said. "In this situation, talking about unilateral ceasefire (is not feasible)", Sethi said.
Echoing similar sentiments, his party colleague and Union Minister Ravi's Shankar Prasad said the government's decision was driven by a humanitarian approach, adding that Ramzan was a "festival of joy".
This came about as terrorists were able to move freely and attack security forces and vital installations with nearly total impunity.
Sources also said that Singh was convinced that a conditional "suspension of operations" is not a bad idea to win the confidence of locals who have been drifting away. The decision means Indian troops will stop the pursuit of militants and door-to-door house searches-but they will still retaliate if attacked, officials said. "Wish them good luck (sic)". This, however, is not the first time that the Valley has seen a cessation of hostilities. This is the key reason why the ISI is also anxious that the entire militancy is out of its control in the sense that it is not controlling the flow of events as it might want to.
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