With a 100 per cent spike in terror-related activities in J&K during Ramadan, the month-long ceasefire has posed a serious challenge to India’s peace initiatives with its neighbour Pakistan. Death of Rising Kasmir editor Shujaat Bukhari in the hand of a group of bike-borne terrorists in Srinagar also exposes the futility of the peace process. Ramadan ceasefire across LoC will come to an end tomorrow (Saturday), as the holy month for the Muslims is coming to an end with Eid.
Speculations were rife whether the ceasefire will be extended to bring in peace at the border areas and to provide respite to the civilians there. But a review of the situation indicates that violence, during the month of Ramadan, continued unabated.
According to the latest data compiled by the Centre, as many as 23 youths have been recruited by militant groups during the first 19 days of the ceasefire. Also, incidents of grenade attacks have gone up. Before the ceasefire was announced, from April 19 to May 15, there were 25 militant-related cases, as reported. But after the announcement, as many as 66 cases were reported between May 17 and June 13.
During Ramadan, attacks on civilians too grew in number.
As a whole, there has been no encouraging sign to extend the ceasefire beyond Eid, according to sources. Also, the Amarnath Yatra will commence from June 28. Before that, the Army had to resume its normal operations to sanitise the border.
It is noteworthy that the peace proposal actually came from Pakistan, while India only accepted it as a goodwill gesture. According to the experts, ceasefire across the LoC is the best option for Pakistan as it saves Pakistani jawans, while Pak-sponsored terrorism continues inside the Valley, like the shooting of Shujaat Bukhari.
On the same day, a soldier of the Rashtriya Rifles in the Indian Army who was returning home for Eid was abducted by militants; and later his bullet-riddled body was found in a village in Pulwama.
Another soldier and two militants were killed in a gun-battle in Bandipore on the eve of Eid.