Can’t say if Ramzan ceasefire was a success or failure: Lt Gen (retd) Hooda

Chandigarh: Lieutenant General (retd) DS Hooda on Friday said that it was not possible to comment on whether the Ramzan ceasefire along the Line of Control was an absolute success or failure.

He said, “We can’t say if the ceasefire is success or failure in black or white terms. There were major challenges. Militants haven’t agreed to the ceasefire, attacks on security forces haven’t gone down. Pakistan’s carrying out infiltration and ceasefire violations are some downsides.”

He said that the killings of veteran journalist Shujaat Bukhari and soldier Aurangzeb in the Valley on Thursday, were the possible downsides of the Ramzan ceasefire, as it gave terrorists an upper hand.

He said, “A tragic incident that took place yesterday where we lost a very brave soldier (Aurangzeb) and a very respected journalist (Shujaat Bukhari), which are downsides of what has happened. There are calls for abrogating ceasefire but there have also been some positives.”

He also said, “When the ceasefire was announced large sec of people looked at it positively. Civilian casualties, clashes between protesters and security forces came down. If we can exploit success, it will be the real key to say whether ceasefire helped or not.”

Last month, the Home Ministry announced that the security personnel would halt operations against terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir, during the holy month of Ramzan.

However, the Ministry clarified that the security forces retained the right to strike, if attacked or if civilians were found to be in danger.

Earlier, the Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMOs) of India and Pakistan spoke to each other on the issue of ceasefire violations and terrorist activities and agreed to fully implement the ceasefire understanding of 2003, to ensure that ceasefire would not be violated by both sides.

Both the DGMOs reviewed the prevailing situation along the line of control and international boundary in Jammu and Kashmir, according to an official statement.

On the DGMO-level talks, DS Hooda said, “I am highly skeptical about the ceasefire acceptance between the two DGMOs. I don’t think it is going to succeed. The reason is that a ceasefire should be on some kind of principle and I am afraid that those principles are not in place. As long as Pakistan will not stop such kind of activities we are not going to see peace. The DGMOs must sit down and establish some basis and principle on which the ceasefire should be taken care off. Merely talking on the phone will be not enough.”(ANI)