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Prime Minister's Statement on Cessation of Security Force Operations in
Jammu and Kashmir: November 19, 2000

On November 19, the Indian Prime Minister announced that security forces were directed not to initiate combat operations against terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir for the month of Ramadhan, a period considered holy by Muslims. Following is the text of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s statement

The people of India are heartened by the steady improvement in the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. Our sisters and brothers in the State have always longed for the return of peace and normalcy, which is now happening steadily and perceptibly. The true complexion of the forces of terrorism and separatism, as also their growing isolation in the State, are now clearer than ever before. The entire world now knows who is misusing the name of Islam to prolong the agony of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

India has always stood for a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue. Events of the past two years have further underscored India’s credentials for peace. They have also once again proved, beyond a shadow of doubt, that India has both the resolve and capability to defeat any attempt to transgress India’s security or challenge our national unity and integrity.

During my visit to Srinagar on August three this year, I had underscored the need for resolving all issues in the spirit of Insaniyat (humanism). Mine was a sincere appeal for cooperation to bring to an end the long trail of violence, which has claimed so many precious lives and inflicted untold misery on all sections of the State’s population — Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs alike.

We have continued our efforts to normalise the situation in the State and to hold talks with all those who are prepared for a dialogue.

The holy month of Ramazan, during which Prophet Mohammed exhorted one and all to live in peace and harmony, is soon approaching. The Government has, therefore, instructed the security forces not to initiate combat operations against militants in Jammu and Kashmir during this most pious month in the Islamic calendar.

I hope that our gesture will be fully appreciated and all violence in the State and infiltration across the Line of Control and the International Border will cease and peace prevail.

Source: Daily Excelsior, November 20, 2000





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