BJP’s vice president and Jammu and Kashmir in-charge Ram Madhav on Tuesday said that Government of India (GoI) decision to invoke a temporary ceasefire in Kashmir during Ramadan was a goodwill gesture and disclosed that Government of India (GoI) was willing to talk to Hurriyat.
Speaking to CNN-News18, Madhav said that the government has made arrangements to hold a dialogue with all the parties concerned in the Kashmir, including the Hurriyat.
“The government has made arrangements to talk to all sections of the society in the Valley. Government is willing to have open political negotiations with different sections, including Hurriyat,” he said.
He said government was hopeful that Hurriyat would respond positively to the peace talks.
When told that Hurriyat is saying there is no point in talking with GoI if Pakistan is not brought to the table, Madhav said, “Government stand is we are ready to talk to all sections in Kashmir, including Hurriyat. Our interlocutor is already working on that. There can be other arrangements also. As far as Pakistan is concerned that is a different issue, that call will be taken on a different level.”
On Ramadan ceasefire, he said the ceasefire would continue only if the militant activities cease.
He said that in the last two to two-and-a-half years, forces had managed to kill over 600 militants. “Earlier, the forces were pursuing a hardline agenda in the Valley to kill militants vigorously. But, keeping the sacredness of Ramadan in mind, as a gesture of goodwill, the government had asked forces to suspend operations”.
He said the first two weeks since the Ramadan ceasefire announcement have witnessed incidents of grenade throwing.
“In the last two days, there were 4 or 5 grenade attacks. There was continuous cross-border firing from Pakistan’s side. After a week or 10 days’ lull even stone pelting has resumed. It is very unfortunate. We had hoped that in the month of Ramadan, the people of the valley would be busy with the religious activities but there are still good number of misguided youths who are indulging in terror and stone pelting. But, if unrest continues then the situation before Ramadan will be restored,” Ram Madhav said.
When asked whether his assessment was that ceasefire has failed, he said, “No. Not really. As I said from our side, we have made a gesture. We have hoped there will be relative peace and calm in the Valley. I must also tell you, barring incidents of some violence, large parts of the Valley remain peaceful. So we have to take a final assessment towards the end of this Ramadan period which is around middle of this month around 15-16 June. Once we come to the end of Ramadan, we will take realistic assessment of the situation and certainly the government will take a view.”