BJP does not support Mehbooba's stand on unilateral ceasefire

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On Wednesday, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who heads the PDP-BJP government in the state, had said centre should consider a unilateral ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir starting from Ramzan in mid-May till the completion of the Amarnath Yatra in August.

She made the remarks after chairing a four-hour all-party meeting, which was convened to discuss the present situation in the Kashmir Valley especially after a tourist from Chennai died due to stone pelting on May 7.

Referring to J-K CM Mehbooba's claim that PM Modi should announce the unilateral ceasefire on the lines of Atal Behari Vajpayee in 2000, Sethi said that in eighteen years the nature of terrorism in the state has completely changed and such ceasefire was not possible now. Later, deputy chief minister and BJP leader Kavinder Gupta said that ceasefire does not happen from one side only and added that the guns must fall silent from both sides.

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Meanwhile, National Conference working President Omar Abdullah, after the development has lashed out at Mehbooba Mufti for calling an All Party Meet when her own ally doesn't agree with her. "The unilateral ceasefire is not a good thing", they said.

"As Ramadan and Yatra are approaching we must try to take steps that will help restore the confidence of the people for the state, " she said.

The overriding sense at the meeting was in favour of a political outreach in Kashmir and the need for the national leadership to reach out, said senior PDP leader and minister Naeem Akhtar. "The results of the amnesty schemes are totally opposite to what the government had expected", he said, adding the BJP's stand was clear that the state government should stop being soft on stone pelters. He also emphasised that a call for a unilateral ceasefire was not a unanimous decision at the meeting.

"We are in complete disagreement and the chief minister can not pressure us on this".

Terming "stone pelters of today as potential terrorists of tomorrow", they said "we will not agree are buy any argument that the hands of army should be tied". The Indian Army has previously said that Pakistani forces deliberately target innocent villagers through mortar shelling. Overall, we felt that the BJP and PDP have not yet had discussions between the state and the Centre over the implementation of the AoA.