Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and opposition National Conference leader Omar Abdullah today welcomed the Centre's decision to not launch any security operations in Jammu and Kashmir during the Muslim fasting month of Ramzan.
"The decision would go a long way in healing the wounds of people of the state who have been suffering the pain of violence and uncertainty for the past three decades or so.
What best a time to go for this decision than the onset of holy month of Ramadhan which promotes values of patience, self-restraint and tolerance," Mehbooba said in a statement.
She said the ceasefire would also provide the necessary breather to the people who have been craving for it so long. She thanked the Centre particularly Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh for the "historic decision".
"This marks the beginning of listening of the story of pain of the state's people by the country's leadership," she said.
The chief minister appealed to all stakeholders to reciprocate positively to the gesture aimed at giving relief to the people of the state who have seen enough "torment and tragedy". Mehbooba also thanked political parties who backed her idea of 'cessation of hostilities' during a meeting convened by her recently.
"I wholeheartedly welcome the Ramadan ceasefire & would like to thank @narendramodi ji & @rajnathsingh ji for their personal intervention. My gratitude also to the leaders & parties who participated in the All Party Meeting & helped build consensus towards this announcement (sic)," Mehbooba tweeted.
She said Ramzan is a harbinger of peace and such a decision will go a long way in creating a peaceful and amicable environment for a sustained dialogue.
Abdullah said if the militants did not respond in kind to the Centre's unilateral halt on operations during the month of Ramzan, they will be exposed as enemies of the people.
"On the demand of all political parties (except the BJP, which had opposed it) the Centre has announced a unilateral ceasefire. Now if the militants don't respond in kind, they will stand exposed as the true enemies of the people," he said in a tweet.
Earlier today, the Centre asked security forces not to launch operations in Jammu and Kashmir during the month of Ramzan.
The security forces, however, reserve the right to retaliate if attacked or if essential to protect the lives of innocent people, the spokesperson said.
"It is important to isolate the forces that bring a bad name to Islam by resorting to mindless violence and terror," the spokesperson said.
The holy moth of Ramzan is likely to start tomorrow or Friday depending on the sighting of moon.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)