JAMMU, June 16: Ahead of likely announcement by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the fate of conditional ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir, National Security Advisor (NSA), Army and Intelligence Bureau (IB) were reported to have submitted their confidential reports giving their opinion on whether to go ahead with ceasefire or not.
One-month of suspension of operations during Ramzan announced by Rajnath on May 16 expired this evening with the celebrations of Eid festival and there were reports that Rajnath could make a statement anytime after tomorrow morning on whether the Centre would extend conditional ceasefire or withdraw it.
Sources told the Excelsior that National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Army and Intelligence Bureau have submitted their reports to the Union Home Ministry giving their opinion on ceasefire including situation during the past one month when conditional ceasefire was in-force in Jammu and Kashmir and the roadmap ahead taking into account the start of annual Shri Amarnath Ji pilgrimage from June 28 in South Kashmir Himalayas, which would last 60 days i.e. till August 26 coinciding with Shravan Purnima and Raksha Bandhan.
Sources said they were of the view that Army can’t be held back too long for initiating combat operations especially in South Kashmir, where the pilgrimage is due to start in next 12 days. One of the agency was of the view that “actionable inputs” were available and that security forces should go after the militants before they strengthen their positions by changing hideouts. Yet another agency has flagged concern over Amarnath Ji yatra.
Apart from the NSA, Army and Intelligence Bureau, the Home Minister has already been briefed by top brass of para-military forces, Jammu and Kashmir Police and all other security and Intelligence agencies, operating in Jammu and Kashmir during June 7 security-review meeting at Srinagar and June 14 meeting in New Delhi.
Taking all views and personal review of ground situation in Jammu and Kashmir where he had visited on June 7 and 8, the Union Home Minister had yesterday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and briefed him on the situation especially the situation during one month of suspension of operations against the militants.
There were enough indications that after yesterday’s security review meeting by the Prime Minister and Thursday’s high-level review of Jammu and Kashmir situation by Rajnath Singh with top brass of Ministry of Home Affairs, CRPF and J&K officials, a decision might have been taken by the Government of India on whether to go ahead with conditional ceasefire or withdraw it.
However, Rajnath was likely to announce the decision anytime after tomorrow morning as the Centre wanted Eid celebrations to be over.
According to sources, Rajnath was keeping the Prime Minister briefed on Jammu and Kashmir situation including announcement on suspension of combat operations in the State during holy month of Ramzan.
Sources said some of the security and Intelligence agencies have favoured intensified operations against the militants after Eid festival. They wanted search and combat operations to start immediately after Eid to bring level of violence down, which has gone up during the ceasefire period especially in the past one week.
“The killing of Rising Kashmir Editor Shujaat Bukhari and his two PSOs, kidnapping and killing of Army jawan Aurangzeb and snatching of weapons from para-military forces and police were the reasons cited by some of the security and Intelligence agencies in support of their argument to resume operations against the militants,” sources said.
However, there were some other security agencies, which were of the view that level of violence has deliberately been increased by the militants at the behest of Pakistan to sabotage ceasefire. They pointed out that Pakistan as well as its sponsored militants don’t want ceasefire in Kashmir as it gives message of return of peace in the Valley and that was the reason that they had intentionally increase the violent incidents especially during past few days.