JEHANGIR ALI | 10 MAY, 2018
BJP Rejects PDP Led Call for ‘Unilateral Ceasefire’
Why an all party meet then asks Omar Abdullah
SRINAGAR: In a significant development underlining the widening fissures in the coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir, the BJP, and alliance partner, today rejected the call for “unilateral ceasefire” that was made by the all-party meeting here yesterday, prompting opposition leader Omar Abdullah to target the chief minister Mehbooba Mufti
“We don’t want any unilateral ceasefire at this juncture,” party spokesman Arun Gupta said in press conference in Jammu, “It is not going to happen. It was merely a suggestion not a point of discussion during the all-party meeting”, they said.
“What was the point of @MehboobaMufti calling an all party meeting to build a consensus around initiatives in Kashmir when her ally in the Govt doesn’t agree with her! Yet she will shamelessly cling to power because that’s all that matters to her,” Omar tweeted.
The meeting, convened against the backdrop of intensified violence that has left a trial of death and destruction in the Valley, was chaired by the chief minister. Senior members of the opposition National Conference and Congress also attended the meeting at SKICC here.
During the meeting, the chief minister said the participants called for a unilateral ceasefire in view of the holy month of Ramadan and Amarnath Yatra. BJP said independent MLA Engineer Rashid had raised the issue and he was backed by other leaders.
“This issue was raised first by Engineer Rashid and then by others. But there was no broader discussion. We don’t believe in the unilateral ceasefire as it is not in the national interest,” Gupta said.
On the issue of heightened violence in the Valley and a spate of civilian and militant killings, the party said the central government should not adopt a “soft-approach” which will send out a wrong signal.
“At present no relaxation should be given. Anyone who joins the militancy is killed in three days. We are on a strong wicket now. The unilateral ceasefire is not a good thing”, Sunil Sethi, another BJP spokesman, said.
However, they denied there was confrontation between Peoples Democratic Party and the BJP over the issue. “Whenever the two parties would discuss a unilateral ceasefire, we will put our point forward as we are against it,” they said.
The party-men proposed “special force” for dealing with stone throwers as “Jammu and Kashmir Police is not well equipped. New techniques and weaponry has come up to deal with stone throwers and rioters,” Sethi said.
The party said the state government is making preparations for Prime Minister’s upcoming visit to the state, “But it is not for ceasefire or anything. If they want to meet Modiji on this issue, we will not be party to any such adventure,” Gupta said.