PDP-BJP government wanted a ceasefire during Ramzan, Amarnath Yatra. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said his ministry is yet to receive any proposal. Security forces feel sustained counter-terror operations has made infiltration of terrorists difficult

A proposal for a unilateral ceasefire by security forces in Jammu and Kashmir during the forthcoming Ramzaan and Amarnath Yatra, which start on May 15 and June 26 respectively, moved by the state government has no takers-especially with the security establishment.

Earlier this week, the People's Democratic Party (PDP)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in J&K led by Mehbooba Mufti had sought a ceasefire during Ramzaan and Amarnath Yatra. The BJP, however, objected to a ceasefire with Deputy Chief Minister Kavinder Gupta telling reporters that the initiative must come from militants.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh told reporters in New Delhi that his ministry is yet to receive any proposal from the state. Interestingly, the state government is unlikely to send any written proposal to the Centre indicating that the demand for a ceasefire is more of a way to stem the sagging political fortunes and image of the PDP in the Valley.

Security forces are not only reluctant but even apprehensive. "Suspending operations without a major political initiative would make no difference on the ground," a senior official told India Today.

Security forces feel that sustained counter-terror operations and an aggressive posture along the Line of Control has made infiltration of terrorists from Pakistan extremely difficult and put terror groups under severe pressure.

"Letting up the pressure is not advisable," a senior military officer said adding, "All terror groups, Lashkar-e Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and the Hizbul Mujahideen, are leaderless and on the back foot."

Security forces feel a ceasefire would only work in favour of terrorists by allowing them "to regroup and reorganise."

Top sources said that most terrorists now operating in the Valley - about 50-120 of them - are not well-trained, giving security forces an upper hand.

Security forces estimate that about 48 locals have joined terror groups in recent months. Foreign terrorists, many of who are inactive because of counter-terrorism operations, add up to about 70-80 only.

"The pressure on terrorists should be kept up and the level of violence in the Valley will further reduce in time," the officer said.

On Thursday, Army chief General Bipin Rawat in a clear message to Kashmiri youths had said that they shouldn't get carried away and believe that "aazadi", or freedom, is possible. He had said security forces were well-equipped and motivated enough to fight them.

Sources in the security establishment also said that information flow from locals about the movement of terrorists in the Valley had increased manifold leading to more successful intelligence-based operations. It indicates that the common man is fed up of terror and violence. "Can the state overlook this?" a senior officer questioned.

Finally, the security establishment also points to previous unpleasant experiences of suspending operations in J&K. The previous NDA government, led by Atal Behari Vajpayee, had announced Non-initiation of Combat Operations (NICO) on the eve of Ramzaan in November 2000.

The initiative lasted for about five months during which daring attacks, including one on the Srinagar Airport, was launched by terrorists.