19 June, 2021

Hope In Many Shades

Vajpayee's Ramazan truce offer evokes a guarded response in J&K

Hope In Many Shades
The sceptics are many but there is a growing number of ordinary Kashmiris who see a ray of hope in Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee's ceasefire offer during the holy month of Ramazan. Indeed, the view that the latest peace offer may not meet the same fate as the unilateral ceasefire announced in July by the Hizbul Mujahideen is gaining ground. The only roadblock, however, seems to be a possible escalation of violence in Jammu and Kashmir by militant outfits like the Lashkar-e-Toiba and Al-Badr, which have rejected the ceasefire outright.

Therefore, this time around, the key players of the separatist movement—the Hizbul Mujahideen and the Hurriyat Conference—have been guarded in welcoming New Delhi's initiative. Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin has pointed out that his outfit would welcome the ceasefire if it could lead to the resolution of the Kashmir conflict. However, he was quick to add that India should first acknowledge Kashmir as a disputed territory and both Pakistan and the people of Kashmir must be involved in any dialogue. Senior Hurriyat leaders...

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