SRINAGAR: The Centre’s decision against extending the ceasefire in Kashmir has been termed a “setback” for peace process by the ruling PDP in Jammu and Kashmir while coalition partner BJP welcomed it, saying the militants and separatists had missed the opportunity.
PDP chief spokesman Rafi Ahmed Mir told Express that the unilateral ceasefire announced by Central government on May 16 had generated hope that it would lead to dialogue and peace process.
“It was expected that level of violence will come down, but it did not happen that way. Unfortunately the other side (militants) did not respond to it,” Mir said. “In a way it is setback to peace process.” He, however, added that PDP’s agenda was dialogue with all stakeholders and the party would continue its efforts for talks.
Welcoming the end of ceasefire, BJP chief spokesman Sunil Sethi said this was bound to happen. “The government had announced ceasefire with the hope that it will usher in peace in the Valley and there will be matching response from the other side. But the militants, the Hurriyat and Pakistan rejected the ceasefire and continued with the violence,” he said.
Sethi said now that Ramzan is over, “it is time to go all-out against militancy.”
The BJP spokesman said the separatists missed the great opportunity, where they could have come for negotiations.
“But there was a concerted effort from their side from day one to ensure this process fails,” he added.
National Conference leader and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said it was the failure of everyone who wanted to give peace a chance.
State Congress chief G A Mir said the situation in Kashmir was alarming and needed some urgent measures from Central government to retrieve the situation.
Lashkar-e-Toiba chief Mahmood Shah reacted to the decision saying, “The funeral prayer of deceased and Eid prayer were offered together and it is a response to India’s ceasefire ‘drama’”.