Government of India announced the non-initiation of combat operations (NICO) on November 28, 2000. It remained in vogue for 185 days, though it was initially for a month. Later it was rolled back in summer. Here is the text of the statement that was issued from Delhi on the eve of the initiation of NICO

The Government of India had declared unilaterally a policy of Non-Initiation of Combat Operations in J&K with a view to lowering the levels of violence and creating an atmosphere conducive to commencement of a peace process in the troubled State. Despite the continuing violence on the part of some predominantly non Kashmiri terrorist groups the Government is gratified to note that there is an unmistakable ground swell for peace among the people of J&K. In order to promote a vigorous movement towards establishment of peace and tranquillity, the Government have decided to embark upon a political dialogue with all sections of the peace loving people of the state including those who are currently outside it.

The dialogue from the side of the Government of India will be held by Shri K. C. Pant, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission. It is hoped that representatives of all walks of life from among the people of J&K will be partners in this dialogue. More specifically it is expected that, besides the J&K Government, all political parties, Non-Government Organisations, Trade unions, Social and Religious bodies from all the regions of the State will participate. The Government invites people in goodwill who desire restoration of peace and normalcy in the State to come forward to participate in the dialogue.

The Government notes that the APHC has all along taken the position that talks should be unconditional. Now that the Government has agreed to hold talks in the interest of early restoration of peace, it is for the APHC to consider whether it would not be inconsistent for them to set pre-conditions for the dialogue. The doors are open for them to join in the talks. The doors are also not closed for Kashmir organisations Which are currently engaged in militancy in the State but are desirous of peace. The Agenda for the dialogue briefly states is ‘peace’ and how it may be attained in the troubled State. All aspects bearing on this theme will be relevant to the dialogue.

The Government of India takes note of the frequently repeated requests from Pakistan that they are eager for a dialogue with India on J&K. The Government for India re-affirms its faith in such a bilateral dialogue and hopes that Pakistan will help in its resumption by curbing cross-border terrorism and putting an end to the vicious anti-India propaganda emanating from Pakistan. This will be in accordance with the Shimla Agreement and the spirit of the Lahore Declaration.

The road to peace is not without serious obstacles: one such is continuing violence against the innocent people of J&K. To reduce this violence security forces have been directed to vigorously conduct operations against those who disturb the peace and victimise the innocent people of J&K, while at the same time ensuring that the population at large is spared undue hardships or harassment. The Government aspects that all right thinking people in the State will join hands with the Government and march purposefully in quest of the peace which has eluded them for the last


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