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Experts maintain caution as Ramadan ceasefire nears expiry

By Syed Nashir Ali Gillani

SrinagarAs Ramadan nears its end, the experts have a cautious opinion about the fate of the ceasefire going on in Kashmir Valley.

Agreeing to the demand made by the state government, New Delhi last month enforced a unilateral ceasefire in the valley for the holy month, which is ending later this week.

Former Director General of Police (DGP), Kuldeep Khoda, said the ceasefire has, to some extent, worked on the ground.

“If the government wants to carry on with the ceasefire without the escalation in violence, it is worth a try,” he said.

“There can be no simple answer to this question of extending the ceasefire. It is a dynamic situation, and every situation has positives as well as negatives. The situation in discussion has positives in the sense that there is some decrease in the violence.”

He said the ceasefire was good for the people, who wanted it and “deserved it too”.

“It has been our aim, but at the same time it gives flexibility to the militants, who can choose targets at random. If the ceasefire helps the situation to improve, it shall be given some more time.”

Khoda said the ceasefire should have been followed up with other measures.

“On other fronts, nothing has been happening: social media continues to boil the situation, alienation or unemployment are not being addressed. Integration of youth with the rest of India should take place in the real sense—mental integration. They shall feel that they are the part of the country,” he said.

Defense expert, Pravin Sahni claimed that ceasefire was a “sideshow”.

The main thing, he said, was talk about the political issue.

“The 2019 elections are coming closer. I think ideologically it will not be appropriate for RSS to talk on the political issues. Ceasefire has nothing to do with the main issue,” he said.

“Extension is good, but nothing will be achieved. Political approach is required.”

Ajay Sahini, also a defense expert, favoured qualified extension.

“If violence escalates, ceasefire shall be withdrawn without any delay,” he said.