Political Parties In J&K Hail UJC's Unilateral Ceasefire
9 October 2007
The Times of India
Srinagar: Cutting across ideological differences, political parties and separatists in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday welcomed the unilateral ceasefire announced by the United Jehad Council (UJC), saying the Centre should reciprocate the gesture. 'It is a good move which should have come earlier,' chairman of moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said. The UJC chief, Syed Salahuddin, on Monday announced the unilateral ceasefire in the state for three days from October 12 on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr. The UJC is an umbrella organisation of 13 militants groups. Mirwaiz said the Centre should respond to the positive development by declaring a truce with militants and restart the dialogue process with the state's political leadership for a durable and lasting resolution of the Kashmir issue. 'The UJC has taken the initiative...the government of India should respond positively so that there is a complete cessation of hostilities in the state,' he said. However, hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani refused to comment on the gesture, saying it was an issue of militant leadership. PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, while welcoming the move, said it would come as a breather for the people of the state who have been suffering for the past 17 years. She said the onus was now on the Centre to reciprocate the goodwill gesture.