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news details
Centre mulls extending Ramzan ceasefire in J&K
5/24/2018 11:09:04 PM

New Delhi, May 24: In a significant development, the Union home ministry has not ruled out the extension of the ceasefire -- officially called 'suspension of operation' -- beyond the month of Ramzan
Emphasising that internal ceasefire during Ramzan has evoked positive response in the Kashmir valley, the Centre is seriously mulling over the idea to continue the ceasefire beyond Ramzan.
A high level source said, "The extension of Ramzan ceasefire beyond the month is an open option and cannot be ruled out."
However, the Centre is worried that Pakistan has increased ceasefire violations at the international border. Pakistan is targeting not just the security forces but also the civilian population.
The source said, "The reason behind Pakistan's desperation is that the Centre and state are getting a good response in Kashmir due to the internal ceasefire".
Sources clarified that the issue of extension of ceasefire was not directly taken up during the national security strategy meet chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The two-day event, said to be organised by Intelligence Bureau (IB), saw most officials giving positive feedback about the ceasefire in Kashmir.
A few officials also suggested talks with separatists as a reach-out method in Kashmir Valley. Sources said the suggestions made by several officers were heard with keen interest but no decision has been taken yet.
Rajnath Singh said, "The ceasefire in the Valley was a success but Pakistan is violating ceasefire at the international border. We want peace with our neighbours but we are forced to respond when Pakistan fires at us."
Security and administration officials also met at New Delhi's Vigyan Bhawan on Thursday, sources said. The meeting, which was organised by the Intelligence Bureau under the ambit of national security strategy meet, largely focused on security agencies taking up the issue of ceasefire violations by Pakistan Army and Pakistan Rangers at the LoC and the international border.
Just before the harvesting season began, Pakistan moved its farmers and attacked Indian civilians near the international border. Pakistan seems to be deliberately targeting residential areas around the international border, sources claimed.
Sources also said that a timely intelligence input from the army and security agencies could have led to better planning and civilians could have been moved to safety. Authorities are now aiming for a better civil-security coordination, sources said.
This step comes after a dozen civilians were killed and 50 injured in ceasefire violations by Pakistan in the past one week. One BSF jawan was also killed and at least three were injured during the ceasefire violations.
Sources the issue of coordination was taken by the Home Minister and both the BSF and the army were asked to work out the mechanism.
Several issues related to the Jammu and Kashmir region were also discussed during the meet. These include polarisation of the population in both the regions and division between religious communities. The danger of Pakistan exploiting the sentiments of people on the border was also discussed.
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