What caused the split: Failed ceasefire, Shujaat Bukhari’s killing
New Delhi: The BJP decided to pull out of the PDP-led coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday.
The move came just a few days after the Union Minister of Home Affairs, Rajnath Singh, announced an end to the ceasefire in the Kashmir Valley, which was instituted for the month of Ramzan. The Centre had called off the Ramzan ceasefire a day after Eid, citing provocative action from militants after cessation of operations by security forces.
In the backdrop of simmering tensions in Kashmir and after the failure of an already tried ceasefire in 2000, the 2018 ceasefire also didn’t bear good results. The number of terror-related incidents more than doubled during the Ramzan ceasefire. Recruitment by militant groups and grenade attacks also witnessed a spike. What worsened the ceasefire were the killings of Shujaat Bukhari, the editor of Rising Kashmir, and Aurangzeb, an Indian Army soldier.
A repeat of ceasefire on the lines of the year 2000 also seemed to bring Hurriyat leaders on board, which, however also didn’t bear fruits. The call to implement such a ceasefire was the second in the troubled history of Jammu and Kashmir.
This is not the first time that differences have cropped up between the alliance partners. Earlier, the PDP reportedly threatened to pull out of the coalition over the issue of two BJP ministers rallying behind the Hindu Ekta Manch, which was demanding a CBI inquiry into the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua district. The BJP had asked both the ministers to resign from cabinet.
The two parties formed a coalition government with PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti as chief minister in 2015 after elections threw up a hung assembly, but they were ideologically divided on a range of issues.
In November 2000, then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajaypee had declared a unilateral ceasefire in Kashmir for the holy month of Ramzan. The ceasefire was then extended for five more months before finally ending it on May 23, 2001.
The announcement had followed a unilateral ceasefire by militant group Hizb-ul-Mujahideen in July 2000 that resulted in failed talks with then Union Home Secretary Kamal Pande. The militant outfit withdrew its truce within two weeks after the government of India refused to accept its demand, mainly the inclusion of Pakistan in talks on Kashmir.