Unilateral ceasefire for Ramadan month sends confusing message!

“Kuchh toh baat hai Daya[Name], Kuchh toh baat hai” (English Equivalent: There is something in it Daya, There is something in it) is a popular dialogue in an Indian detective, crime and anthology television series about Maharashtra. The dialogue came to my mind when I read news reports about Indian Government’s unilateral ceasefire call in Kashmir for holy month of Ramadan or Ramazan as we, in India pronounce it.

According to Indian home ministry, the Truce will help Muslims observe the holy month of Ramadan in a ‘peaceful environment’. This is what Union Home minister said in his tweet, and we quote:

@HMOIndia

Security Forces to reserve the right to retaliate if attacked or if essential to protect the lives of innocent people.
Government expects everyone to cooperate in this initiative and help the Muslim brothers & sisters to observe Ramzan peacefully and without any difficulties.

Under the ceasefire(actually it is halting of operations), India will suspend all military operations against rebels in Kashmir during the holy month of Ramadan.

Ceasefire in Kashmir for month of Ramadan is quite illogical, how illogical it is lets see

Many in media are praising the move as historic, because such a gesture has taken place for the first time in nearly two decades. But is it that easy to call any event historic?

Firstly, what have terrorists or those who are seen as rebels have to do with the holy month of Ramadan? In fact, if someone spreads terror or preaches terror, in any form then he/she must be tackled instantly. In short, what is the sanctity of Ramadan for them. Announcing a unilateral ceasefire for religious reasons brings unnecessary focus on religion.

Secondly, if the Indian Home Minister declares a unilateral ceasefire on the ground that it will help Muslim brothers & sisters to observe Ramazan peacefully and without any difficulties, then he is conveying Indian Government’s stand that — Terror must not be linked with any religion. Which in fact is a good thing. But it will be a step back on Government’s previous stand.

So what is confusing here is that, why doesn’t the Indian Government simply announce a unilateral ceasefire till there is need to the contrary? … If the Government wants to build trust, then why it not extend confidence building measures indefinitely. As per records, an all-party team that visited the Kashmir valley is reported to have suggested so. If Indian Government is not sure of Kashmir valley, then it can even announce unilateral ceasefire, one month at a time. But doing so for religious reasons is wrong and contradictory. If the Government doesn’t want to declare any unilateral initiative, it can also do so.

To conclude, it must be noted that no one questions the right of Indian Security Forces to retaliate if attacked or if essential to protect the lives of innocent people. But when Mehbooba Mufti, chief minister of Jammu & Kashmir, also advises the Indian Government to observe ceasefire for just one month of Ramazan because it “will create a peaceful and amicable environment for sustained dialogue”; and such an action is accepted by Indian Government; it becomes confusing for anyone in India.

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