Thursday, July 19, 2018 | 2:14 AM


Citizens’ group asks New Delhi to announce ceasefire urgently in Kashmir

Sunday, May 13, 2018
Whatsapp

The Group of Concerned Citizens (GCC), an Indian civil society group, while expressing concern over the killings in occupied Kashmir has called for an immediate ceasefire to be followed by sincere and meaningful dialogue for final and lasting resolution of the Kashmir dispute.

The GCC, which includes eminent people from a cross section of society including jurists, former vice chancellors, academicians, civil servants and business heads, in a statement in New Delhi said, “An unbreakable cycle of violence in Jammu and Kashmir is taking a heavy toll on human lives.” 

 “We are deeply concerned by the distressing situation created by a prolonged conflict and an unbreakable cycle of violence in Jammu and Kashmir that is taking a heavy toll of human lives especially youth and adversely impacting all vital sectors of health, education and economy.”

“We are of the considered view that an immediate ceasefire by both the sides followed by a sincere and meaningful dialogue for final and lasting resolution of the dispute is the only way out,” the statement added.

“We call upon the Government of India to immediately announce ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir and suspend all operations by the security forces to quell the unrest,” it said.

This goodwill gesture can bring down the levels of violence in Jammu and Kashmir, create space for genuine confidence-building measures and ultimately for resolution of the conflict peacefully through dialogue, the GCC said.

The Group of Concerned Citizens (GCC) while hoped that New Delhi would immediately respond to this demand, it also call upon the Joint Resistance Leadership to reciprocate to a possible ceasefire announcement.

"While we hope that the Centre (New Delhi) immediately responds to this demand, we also call upon the Joint Resistance Leadership to reciprocate to a possible ceasefire announcement with an open mind and use all its influence to ensure reciprocal ceasefire and end to protests," it said.

Ceasefire for a limited period is of no avail unless the period free of hostilities is not used for initiating confidence-building measures followed by a sincere dialogue with all the stakeholders for final and lasting solution of the problem, the GCC said.

 “We also call for restraint and request all concerned to avoid provocative utterances and give peace a chance. This is an opportunity for all the sides to play a constructive role by stepping back and looking for a road map towards just and lasting peace in Jammu and Kashmir, and rest of South Asia,” it added.