Ramzan Ceasefire In J&K Not Advisable: Army
15 September 2007
The Times of India
Udhampur: The Army on Saturday said it is not in favour of a ceasefire with militants in Jammu and Kashmir during the month of Ramzan as they can 'pose a bigger security threat' while merging with the civilian population. 'I don't think we should go for a ceasefire at present. Any ceasefire before winter sets in would offer an opportunity to militants to regroup and pose a bigger security threat,' Northern Command General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Lt Gen H S Panag told reporters on Saturday. He said there was no guarantee 'that militants would not regroup or launch attacks while the hidden enemy is merged with the population' but added that declaration of a ceasefire was a political decision and for the government to take. Coalition partner PDP, opposition NC and the separatists have demanded a Ramzan ceasefire to ease the situation. Without naming anyone, the GOC-in-C said 'our politicians are sometimes anti- national and anti-democracy. They talk to the government as a tool of the militants'. Turning to the question of troop withdrawal, Panag said 'unless the number of militants operating in the state decreases, the terror infrastructure shuts down in Pakistan and the Indo-Pak peace process reaches the agreement stage, demilitarisation should not take place'. He said Pakistan 'cannot be classified an enemy nation' as the border ceasefire had been holding for four years and there was no visible hostility there. 'Support to militants is a problem which is being dealt with diplomatically. We would continue to do so but the issue cannot allow us to go to war with Pakistan,' he said.