The militants of «Lashkar-and-Taiba»* rejected India’s offer of ceasefire in Kashmir

© AP Photo / Mukhtar Captainsheridan force India’s persecuted Muslim protesters in India-controlled Kashmir. Archival photoThe militants of «Lashkar-and-Taiba»* rejected India’s offer of ceasefire in Kashmir© AP Photo / Mukhtar Khan

Fighters one of the largest in South Asia Islamist grouping «Lashkar-and-Taiba»* rejected the initiative of the authorities of India on the introduction of a truce during the Muslim Holy month of Ramadan in the disputed Kashmir newspaper Kashmir Monitor, citing the group’s leader Mahmud Shah.

«We consider it a sin and shame towards the victims, which were incurred in the struggle for freedom. We — the heirs of the martyrs. Such a choice would be a betrayal of blood of martyrs,» said Shah in written comments publication. He stressed that the members of the group «don’t even think about this kind of compromise.»

On the eve of India unilaterally imposed a ceasefire on the entire territory of Kashmir until the end of Ramadan. As reported earlier, the interior Ministry, in new Delhi demanded that the security services not to conduct military operations in this unstable area throughout the month. The authorities expressed hope that all parties will support this initiative by allowing residents of the state from among the Muslims to celebrate Ramadan «in a peaceful manner».

While the Ministry said that the Indian army retains the right to take retaliatory action if its soldiers were attacked, or if such measures were necessary to protect the civilian population.

The territory of the former princely state of Kashmir since 1947 and to this day remains a stumbling block in relations between India and Pakistan. In this region there are no state boundaries — it replaces the line of control, which has no legal force. The situation in the region has been relatively stabilized after the signing in 2003 of the agreement on cessation of hostilities. However, in recent months the number of armed incidents in Kashmir has improved: the Indian and Pakistani military regularly shelled the positions of each other, after which each side blames the other for the breakdown of the truce.

*Banned in Russia as a terrorist organization