Exclusive: Extension of the “unilateral ceasefire” expected to come around Eid

‘Army opposes the extension in unilateral halt in security operations’

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Srinagar: The decision whether to extend the ceasefire or not will come around Eid, top government sources have said.

“Home Minister Rajnath Singh has taken feedback from the government and security agencies during his recent visit,” government sources said.

“The police have pitched for the extension of the ceasefire. Through power point presentations, they tried to persuade the Home Minister that the ceasefire was paying dividends on the ground. They said the bloodshed had almost ended since the ceasefire was put in place.”

Sources, however, said the army was opposing the move to extend the ceasefire.

“We have tried our best to show the Home Minister that the situation was improving. We convened an impressive convention at the indoor stadium where he addressed the youth. He also visited Kupwara where he took stock of developmental projects,” sources said.

The Kashmir Press Exclusive

“The idea of this whole exercise was for the Home Minister himself to take stock of the situation and see with his own eyes how the ceasefire has unfolded on the ground.”

Sources also said that that the Home Minister had visited Kashmir on several occasions before, but he had restricted himself to high security zones like the Nehru guest house.

Delhi had announced a rare halt in security operations with the onset of the holy month of Ramzaan. But even if killings have gone down, militant attacks have spiked up by 30 percent since the security operations were stopped.

Rajnath Singh came on a two day visit to Jammu and Kashmir on June 07.

“As far as we know, he was satisfied with the outcome of the ceasefire. But nobody knows whether he will push for it in Delhi or not,” sources said.

“Soon after landing in Delhi, he met Prime Minister Modi and talked about his visit to Kashmir. It will be in Delhi where the decision will be taken after due consultations with security agencies.”

On talks with the Hurriyat, sources said the Home Minister will push the Special Representative Dineshwar Sharma to open talks with them around or after Eid.

The Home Minister had earlier offered talks to the Hurriyat, but they said they will only respond once the government of India had made its stand clear with respect to the specifics of the talks.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has appealed to the resistance leadership to grap the opportunity of dialogue with Delhi and move forward.

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