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Suspense continues over ceasefire extension

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New Delhi, Jun 14: Suspense continued over whether the Centre’s unilateral Ramadan ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir will be extended beyond Eid, which falls this weekend.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday held a high-level meeting over security arrangements for the upcoming Amarnath Yatra to begin later this month and it was officially stated there was no discussion on the fate of ceasefire extension in Jammu and Kashmir in the meeting.
The meeting that lasted about 45 minutes was held at Rajnath Singh’s residence at which National Security Advisor Ajit Doval; Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba; the Army Chief, General Bipin Rawat; Director Intelligence Bureau Rajiv Jain, Director Geneneral of Police Jammu and Kashmir S.P. Vaid, Director General of Border Security Force K.K. Sharma and Central Reserve Police Force Chief R.R. Bhatnagar were present along with senior Home Ministry officials.
“Today’s meeting was held to discuss security arrangements for Amarnath Yatra which is to start later this month. The issue of extension or suspension of operation in Jammu and Kashmir was not discussed,” Home Ministry Spokesperson A. Bharat Bhushan Babu said.
Sources in the Home Ministry, on the condition of anonymity, said indications are that the ceasefire may automatically end after the Eid and there may be no official announcement on the end of the initiative.
The Union Home Ministry had on May 16 announced for unilateral ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir during Ramadan, saying this was necessary to help “peace loving Muslims” observe the holy month in a peaceful environment.
“If the Central government decides on extension of the ceasefire, the announcement regarding that would be done on June 16 or 17,” said the official, adding the decision on the suspension or operations against the militants can be taken after a review of its impact in the Kashmir Valley.
While the Jammu and Kashmir government wants the continuation of the Ramadan ceasefire beyond the Eid, top sources suggest the field commanders of the Army have argued that the cessation of hostilities from only one side is helping the militants to regroup and increase their numbers through recruitment of local boys.
Just after the high-level meeting with Rajnath Singh, another round of meeting was chaired by Gauba at his North Block office here to discuss the security aspects to be taken for the safety of the pilgrims taking part in the Amarnath Yatra, beginning on June 28.


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State

People have lost faith in PDP: NC

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Bejbehara, April 18: Jammu and Kashmir National Conference on Thursday said that people of Kashmir have lost faith in PDP saying that the people would never forgive Mufti’s for betraying and berating their verdict in 2014 by forging alliance with BJP-RSS.

Addressing an election campaign rally at Bijbehara, party’s senior leader Muhammad Akbar Lone said that there is no sympathy for Mehbooba Mufti on ground and that the people of Bijbehara will not forgive her for unleashing torments on the people particularly the people of Bijbehara, who had reposed faith in her during 2014 elections.

“Today she is again coming forth with the same set of promises she made while canvassing for assembly elections in 2014. However what followed is an open secret, it cannot be articulated in words, there aren’t any alphabets that can reveal the massive pain the people of Kashmir particularly the people of south Kashmir are going through,” he said.

 

“When enjoying the benefits of power, she had bolted her mouth. People who had voted for her were dejected by her changed outlook. People still remember how sordidly she mocked the death and misery of hundreds of families who had to shoulder the coffins of their beloved, with her ‘milk and toffee’ remarks. People remember how appallingly she had asserted that the guns of security forces aren’t for display but action. She shamelessly stuck to her chair when the youth who had voted for her were being fired upon. She didn’t have the gumption to bid good bye to BJP when scores of our youth, and elderly were being blinded and maimed. On the contrary she barefacedly presided over the relentless miseries of people. How can people forget her treachery and political duplicity? People across the state particularly in Kashmir are bidding goodbye to the PDP’s brand of politics, which is based on duplicity, crude lies and political Shenanigans. Mehbooba is herself admitting the fact that people of the state, in particular her workers are disgruntled with her.PDP is a spent force, it never was any; the edifice of PDP has stumbled down under the weight of its own deceit and falsehood,” he said.

Party’s South Zone President Dr. Bashir Ahmad Veeri, while addressing the public meet, said, “Today we see Mehbooba Ji taking pledges for the protection of state’s special status. How can she assume that she can fool people all the time? If she thinks on these lines then she is surely living in a fool’s paradise, people who come to spend time at the Dara Shikoh Park don’t veer around her late father’s tomb, the reason we all know is the doomed embrace of Mufti’s with BJP-RSS. When Mehbooba Ji was told to bow down by BJP, she crawled before them. There is nothing which suggests that she won’t join hands with the BJP in the future also.

He further added, “PDP is still in a tacit alliance with BJP; the way PDP supported BJP’s candidate for the post of deputy chairman of Lokh Sabha reveals it all. Nonetheless, how can she protect the sanctity of our flag now when she couldn’t stand for the interests of Kashmir when in government with BJP? On the contrary, it was she who allowed the implementation of SARFAESI, and NFSA in J&K. what was left of our autonomy; Mufti’s took it upon them to obliterate it. How can she protect it now?”

The leaders who addressed the public meet sought huge winning margin for party’s Anantnag parliamentary constituency candidate Retired Justice Hasnain Masoodi. The leaders said that Masoodi has been known for his pronounced judgments on the special status of J&K. They said that he is the best person to voice for state’s interests both inside and outside parliament.

Among others retired Justice Hasnain Masooodi, Peer Muhammad Hussnain also addressed the public meet and impressed upon the people to rally round the flag of National Conference.

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State

Vote for strong candidate: Altaf Bukhari to electorate

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Srinagar, April 18: Former finance minister Altaf Bukhari Thursday said it was time to rise above the party system and vote for a strong candidate who can talk about Kashmir issue in the parliament of India.

Hinting that he has voted for National Conference candidate Farooq Abdullah, Bukhari said Farooq Abdullah is a strong candidate among all the people who were in election fray for the Srinagar parliamentary seat.

Bukhari while talking to reporters after casting his vote, said the attacks on the special identity of Jammu and Kashmir need to be defended and only a person like Farooq Abdullah can do that in the parliament.

 

“I feel we need to send a strong leader to the parliament. We need to send those leaders to the parliament who can make a strong stand for Kashmir cause,” Bukhari said.

Admitting that the previous government in which he was a strong minister holding the portfolio of education and later on finance, failed to respect the aspirations of the people, Bukhari said youth who are on the streets pelting stones, it is always a responsibility of the government to make atmosphere conducive and restore normalcy which the previous government completely failed.

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Whatever Sher-e-Kashmir had achieved, we are losing it in small issues: Khalida Shah

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Srinagar, April 18: Jammu and Kashmir Awami National Conference (ANC) President Begum Khalida Shah on Thursday said whatever Sher-e-Kashmir had achieved, we are losing it in small scuffles and issues.

Talking to reporters after carting her vote, Khalida Shah appealed people across Jammu and Kashmir to keep differences at bay and be united to fight their rights.

She added that State was ruined politically, saying it will be unfortunate in case people will not accept the reality on ground.

 

Khalida Shah further stated that people want their rights nothing else but “we should get united so that someone can help use in rescuing from the prevailing situation.”

She said that “there was a need to strengthen ourselves on ground. It is better to work for it. We have not achieved anything but whatever Sher-e-Kashmir had achieved, we were even losing that in small scuffles and issues.”

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