Role Of Civil Society Key For Phased Revocation Of AFSPA: Track-II Diplomat

KL Report


Admitting that the civil society has an important role in pressing for phased revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from the state, senior track II diplomat and Chairman of Centre for Peace and Progress, OP Shah today advocated implementation oHf the recommendations of centre’s interlocutors on Kashmir. He claimed that positive steps are being taken by both India and Pakistan to mend relations between the two countries.

“The civil society should take up the issue of revocation of AFSPA with the central government as it has an important role to play. The issue should be discussed and the act repealed in a phased manner. Also the act should be reviewed and amended from time to time,” O P Shah said while talking to a local news agency, KNS.

Advocating the implementation of the recommendations of centre’s former interlocutors’ report, Shah said, “The interlocutors have toiled hard for preparing the report over a period of one year. The recommendations should be discussed and analysed and whatever becomes possible should be implemented as soon as possible,” Shah said and added that the government needs to show seriousness towards such reports. Shah said his organisation is in principle against the death penalty.

The senior track II diplomat expressed satisfaction over the steps being taken by both India and Pakistan for improving relations between the two nuclear powers. “It will take some time for both the countries to initiate steps for smooth relations and there have been some positive indications after Nawaz Sharief became the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Nawaz Sharief did not use anti-India rant during his elections campaign his extending hand of friendship towards India will bear fruit in the future,” he said and added that there has been positive development in relations between the two countries in the recent past.

Calling track II diplomacy as a bridge between the two countries, Shah said the two countries should not hold their relations hostage to the Kashmir issue. “There are other issues which can be sorted out and should be solved. However, civil society has an important role to play in smoothening relations between the two countries,” he said while rejecting the assertion that India civil society pays attention to Kashmri during times of crisis only.

He said attempts were being made to remove the impediments in confidence building measures between New Delhi and Srinagar. “We are planning to hold another round table conference in Srinagar in which the Hurriyat leaders would most probably participate,” he claimed. 


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