May 2018 News

DM Rules Out Ceasefire, Says Army Will Finish Militants

13 May 2018
The Daily Excelsior
Sanjeev Pargal

Jammu: Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today ruled out ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir as demanded by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and supported by some other parties at a recent All Party Meeting in Srinagar and declared that terrorism would be dealt with sternly. Sitharaman responded to a question on the demand of ceasefire raised by Mehbooba at a press conference in the Union capital. Significantly, this was the first time that a top Central Government functionary has openly rejected the Chief Minister's demand, made at an All Party Meeting on May 9, calling for ceasefire in J&K on the pious occasion of Ramadhan, Eid festivities and Shri Amarnath Ji pilgrimage like Atal Behari Vajpayee had done in 2000. Prior to this, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had stated that he will speak to Mehbooba on her demand. 'Indian Army has to firmly deal with terrorism not only in Jammu and Kashmir but in other party of the country. Army has to finish the terrorism by taking firm action,' Sitharaman said. Asserting that Army will have to make sure that India is a safe country, the Defence Minister said: 'it (the Army) has to handle firmly any terrorism which threatens peace and harmony of Jammu and Kashmir and the rest of India also'. By declaring that Army will firmly handle and finish terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir, Nirmala Sitharaman has ruled out any kind of ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir, sources pointed out. 'I think it is important to handle Jammu and Kashmir affairs with a great deal of sensitivity. But the Indian Army will have to make sure that India is a safe country. It has to handle firmly any terrorism which threatens the peace and harmony of Jammu and Kashmir. Army's position is that it has to be firm with terrorism,' the Defence Minister said. Maintaining that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India, Sitharaman declared that the India Army will remain firm in its action. 'Army's role can't be reduced every minute. It has to be ready to finish terrorism. There will be no let up on terror. We will take action every minute,' she asserted. Sitharaman's statement came four days after Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, while speaking to reporters after an All Party Meeting, stated that the participants had agreed to appeal the Centre to announce year 2000-like Ramadhan ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir to ease tension and facilitate peaceful Ramadhan, tourist season and Shri Amarnath Ji pilgrimage. 'Everyone was concerned about the present situation (in the Valley) about the killings, the youth picking up guns, stone pelting in which Chennai's 22 year old R Thirumani was killed. Everyone agreed that we should appeal to the Centre to consider ceasefire like the one then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee had done in 2000,' Mehbooba had told reporters. However, the very next day, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had completely distanced itself from the demand of ceasefire and sending an All Party Delegation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to take steps as promised by him in August 15 speech to embrace Kashmiris. Sitharaman dubbed as a 'serious disclosure' Pakistan's ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif publicly acknowledging that militant organizations were active in his country and said it proved India's position that the handlers of 26-11 Mumbai terror attack were in Pakistan. For the first time, Sharif also questioned Pakistan's policy to allow the 'non-state actors' to cross the border and 'kill' people in Mumbai, according to a media report. 'Well, it is very serious disclosure. India's position has been that the mastermind of the Mumbai terror attack operated from Pakistan. We strongly believe that the handlers of the attack were in Pakistan,' Sitharaman said. 'It (Sharif's remarks) only proves that India's stand has been right all the way,' she said. Sharif, who has been disqualified to hold public office for life by his country's Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case, said Pakistan has isolated itself. 'We have isolated ourselves. Despite giving sacrifices, our narrative is not being accepted. Afghanistan's narrative is being accepted, but ours is not. We must look into it,' Sharif had told Dawn. Without naming Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed and Maulana Masood Azhar's militant organizations - Jamaat-ud-Dawah and Jaish-e-Mohammad, - operating in the country with impunity, Sharif said, 'Militant organizations are active in Pakistan.'