Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) has never served any purpose in the state ‘and time has come for the central government to revoke the draconian act’, National Conference Additional General Secretary, Dr Mustafa Kamal has said on Sunday. “AFSPA should at least be revoked form the peaceful areas. Giving one or the other reason will not work now and they have to do away with this law. If the Chief Minster as Chairman of the unified command feels that the draconian law should go in a phased manner then what on earth stops the centre from giving green signal for its repeal”, asked Kamal.
Dr Kamaal has blamed the army for ‘creating hurdles’ in revocation of the controversial act. “If there is a hurdle in way of AFSPA revocation, it is only the Army. They don’t want peace in Kashmir for obvious reasons. If army wants peace in Kashmir then they should not oppose the revocation”, he said while talking to a local news agency, KNS.
He has accused the army of trying to scuttle the revocation of the act to save its troops from accountability. “Army and defence Ministry are actually aware that if this law is removed from the scene they will be held answerable for the excesses they have committed on the people of the state”, he claimed.
He has demanded immediate revocation of AFSPA from the ‘peaceful areas’ of the state. “If the army claims that peace has returned to the Valley, then why do they oppose its revocation?” he asked adding “Militants can strike with or without AFSPA so it is wrong to say AFSPA is necessary to maintain peace in the state.”
However, the leader has also said the NC-Congress coalition government led by National Conference would continue to make efforts for the revocation of AFSPA from the state.
Meanwhile Member of Parliament and senior National Conference leader Dr Mehboob Beg has said that by not considering the partial revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from the state, the central government was “justifying the stand of separatists and strengthening the hands of hardliners.”
“It is really a matter of concern that despite various security agencies in their reports clearly stating that the situation has improved a lot and graph of militancy has drastically come down, the Union Home Ministry instead of taking some concrete steps to repeal the AFSPA is talking of amendments in the Act being under the consideration of Cabinet Committee for Security (CCS)”, said Beg while talking to news agency KNS.
Beg said, “That New Delhi is giving an impression that Kashmir is not on its priority which is further alienating Kashmir’s and strengthening the hands of hardliners”.
“India is a largest democracy in the world and cannot rely on the extrajudicial laws and use them on their own people. Then they are certainly justifying separatists like Syed Ali Geelani who have been saying that New Delhi was holding Kashmir by its military might,” said Beg while talking to KNS.
He said that incorporating amendments in the AFSPA won’t serve any purpose and it was high time that the peace dividends should reach the common people and they should feel the change.
“Unfortunately New Delhi only wakes up when the situation erupts, and when it returns to normalcy they forget everything. This approach is only going to keep the pot boiling,” added Beg.