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‘Revoking AFSPA in time of militancy not possible’ says BJP

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Srinagar, : The Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) Wednesday made it clear that unless the militancy and stone pelting doesn’t stop in the valley, the Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA), should not be revoked from the Jammu and Kashmir.
“Our stand is very clear that AFSPA cannot be revoked unless and until peace and normalcy is restored in Jammu and Kashmir,” BJP State General Secretary Ashok Koul told KNS over phone.
He said that the BJP government in the centre is closely monitoring the situation in Kashmir and will take the decision on AFSPA revocation at the right and appropriate time.
Interestingly in the Agenda of Alliance (Aoa), the PDP and BJP had agreed that while both parties have historically held a different view on AFSPA and the need for it in the State, as part of the agenda for governance of this alliance, the coalition government will examine the need for de-notifying ‘disturbed areas’.
Koul further said, “Our Jawans are being killed. Today a PDP leader was shot dead. The stone pelting has not stopped. How can we expect the revocation of act in these circumstances? BJP leader questioned.
The statement comes a day after BJP’s collation partner People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said that the act must go from the Jammu and Kashmir.
“From day one we wanted peace in Kashmir. We too want that AFSPA should end,” Maternal uncle of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and PDP Vice President Sartaj Madni had told KNS over phone.
He had said that the PDP is keen that law like AFSPA is withdrawn and that the revocation of AFSPA is part of Agenda of Alliance between the two parties.
It is to mention here that while addressing a conference in New Delhi chief minister, Mehbooba had said AFSPA should be revoked from some areas of the State.
She had said that PDP and BJP had come together to form coalition government in the State on an Agenda of Alliance which included revocation of AFSPA.
“We should not shy away from revocation of AFSPA. When things improve, why not?” she had said added “We don’t shy away when situation goes bad. We don’t shy away from calling more forces. We ask army to be more proactive, but when the situation improves, we should not shy away from the fact we need to start revocation of AFSPA from some places and see what the impact is”.
During 2014 assembly campaign in the state the PDP leaders has promised that if voted to power, the party will ensure that AFSPA is withdrawn from the state. The BJP on the other hand, had opposed any withdrawal of the act.
Mehbooba’s predecessor and Opposition National conference leader, Omar Abdullah had in 2012 expressed confident that “ the day was not for” when AFSPA will be withdrawn from the state during his governments tenure.
However after failing in his attempt, Omar blamed the collation partner congress and opposition PDP for not supporting him in his endeour to get AFSPA revoked.
The act has remained the bone of contention between the regional parties, PDP, NC and National parties BJP and the congress. While the regional parties in favour of revoking the act, the National parties want the AFSPA to remain to provide legal cover to the security forces operating in ant-militancy operations in the state.
The voices have got lowder for the revocation of AFSPA after it was removed completely from Meghalaya and restricted to eight police stations bordering Assam and three districts neighboring Myanmar.
While Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Monday asked New Delhi to withdraw controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from Kashmir saying the “draconian” act has played havoc with “our lives” the number of legal luminaries including Senior lawyer, Zafar Shah, Noted human rights defender and lawyer, Parvez Imroz, had said that the Armed forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) is draconian and should be revoked. (KNS)

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