Terming the statement of home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde as a ‘lame excuse’ where he had said that the Armed Forces powers Special Act (AFSPA) would not be withdrawn from J&K until the situation in the state was completely peaceful, Chairman Peoples Conference (PC) Sajad Gani Lone said that for peace to prevail in the state, removal of AFSPA was inevitable.
“While National Conference says it stands on with its mission of AFSPA revocation, it (Shinde’s Statement) is a mere excuse now for showing the military might. Removing AFSPA is itself key to peace and as long as it (AFSPA) is there, peace will never prevail”, Sajad told a local news agency KNS.
The main opposition party of the state, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said that Shinde’s statement raises questions about chief minister Omar Abdullah’s state’s case. “He (Omar Abdullah) himself had set time frame in 2011 that AFSPA would be removed within 2 to 3 days. In his last announcement he declared that to remove AFSPA is his (CM’s) mission”, PDP Spokesperson Naeem Akther told KNS. “One wonders why CM cannot get even this concession from the centre, even though he is tom toming his Janam Janam Ka Sath (Relations since centuries) with the Congress”, he added.
Questioning the intentions and assertions of CM, Akhtar said, “Two things cannot go together. One of our (PDP’s) main components in our agenda is removal of all draconian laws from the State and fully democratic system established as part of largest democracy in the world”.
When asked about Shinde’s statement on Parliament convict Afzal Guru’s mercy petition, “We should wait for his (Shinde’s) decision”, replied Akther, but he was quick to add, “PDP has already appealed President of India for the commutation of Guru’s capital punishment”.
When asked in case the rejection of mercy petition whether it would have any adverse affect in J&K, “It’ll not contribute to conflict resolution or peace process in a positive way”, he replied.
Responding to the statement, National Conference reiterated its commitment of removing AFSPA.
“NC stands with its commitment of removal of AFSPA. We’ve our stand and we’ve reiterated and decided it also in recently held Working Committee meeting. Omar Sahab has time and again reiterated his commitment and intentions for removal for AFSPA”, senior party leader Ali Mohammad Sagar told KNS.
Alleging that India is itself against the peace to prevail in state,chairman Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) Shabir Ahmad Shah said that under the draconian laws Kashmiris are being subjected to forced disappearances, custodial killings, fake encounters and women are being raped. “It is the military might that India shows towards Kashmir. On one hand India says doors are open for talks and on other hand commits offences against the innocent Kashmiris under the shadow of AFSPA”, said Shah. “India itself has to create the climate of peace by removing these all draconian laws from the state of J&K. Shinde should know that it is demand of people of state to remove these draconian laws”, Shah added.
Shah accuses India of creating war like situation, “we’re peaceful people. It is India who has to maintain peace but it is creating atmosphere of war in the state by imposing such kind of black laws”, said Shah.
Terming the AFSPA license to kill innocent people indiscriminately, Hurriyat (G) Spokesperson Ayaz Akbar said “AFSPA is a non issue for us (Hurriyat). We are against illegal occupation of India in J&K. Until Indian troops are illegally occupying our land such laws are bound to be there. We demand complete demilitarization and vacating of Indian illegal occupation”, said Akbar. “We also condemn the black laws”, he added.
Pertinently, Home Minister Sushil kumar Shinde on Monday had said the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) will not be withdrawn from Jammu and Kashmir until the situation in the state was completely peaceful.
“AFSPA cannot be withdrawn unless the state is quite and calm,” Shinde told reporters in Delhi when asked if the government was planning to withdraw the controversial law from the state as demanded by various quarters.