India will not launch combat operations against Muslim separatist groups in Kashmir during the holy Islamic month of Ramadan, the government here announced on Sunday.
Ramadan starts at the end of November.
Announcing the decision, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in a statement said he hoped the gesture "will be fully appreciated and all violence in the state and infiltration across the Line of Control and the international border will cease and peace will prevail."
There was no immediate reaction from Kashmir's two dozen Muslim separatist groups to the Indian government's unilateral offer.
Official sources said the decision was taken after a meeting to discuss the offer by Vajpayee's Cabinet Committee on Security Affairs, which met in New Delhi on Saturday.
The Press Trust of India said the prime minister was also understood to have discussed the ceasefire with Kashmir State Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah earlier Sunday before the announcement -- NEW DELHI (AFP)
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