Kashmir: National Conference, PDP welcome ceasefire along LoC
As India and Pakistan armies agree to a ceasefire along the Line of Control, Kashmir’s two biggest political parties, National Conference (NC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have welcomed this announcement.
PDP president and former J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti who has always advocated talks with the Pakistan has termed this as a welcome development.
“A big & welcome development that India & Pakistan have agreed to a ceasefire along the LoC. Dialogue is the only way forward if both countries want to stop the unending cycle of violence & bloodshed across the borders and J&K,” tweeted Mufti soon after the announcement on Twitter.
Earlier this week, while visiting the family of a police constable in south Kashmir’s Ashmuqam village who died in the line of duty, Mufti had asked the Centre to talk with Pakistan to end bloodshed in Kashmir. The policeman, along with another cop, was killed by militants in an attack in Srinagar’s Barzulla.
NC also welcomed the ceasefire.
“We welcome it and hope that the statement will be followed in letter & spirit. JKNC has always been a strong supporter of the Ceasefire along the LoC. This will allow people living along the LoC & IB to go about their normal lives with minimal disruption & risk,” NC said in a statement, which was also tweeted by its vice-president Omar Abdullah.
Earlier on Thursday, armies of India and Pakistan agreed to cease fire along the LoC from the midnight of February 24.
A joint statement issued by the armies of both countries said the move followed a discussion between India’s Director General of Military Operations (DGMO), Lt Gen Paramjit Singh Sangha, and his Pakistani counterpart, Maj Gen Nauman Zakaria, over their established telephone hotline.
The move comes at a time when the Indian military is largely focused on the standoff with China in Ladakh sector of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), which emerged in the open in May last year, though there has been no let-up in counter-terrorism operations in Jammu and Kashmir.
For the last several months, there has been surge in ceasefire violations along the Line of Control both in Jammu region and in Kashmir.