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New Government at Centre Will Be Soft on AFSPA in Jammu and Kashmir, Says NC

Published: 24th January 2014 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th January 2014 01:27 AM   |  A+A-

Jammu and Kashmir’s ruling National Conference said it wouldn’t launch a protest along the lines of Arvind Kejriwal’s sit-in to force the Centre to lift the AFSPA from the state, saying the Parliamentary elections would bring in a new dispensation that is more sensitive to the demands for scrapping the controversial impunity law.

“The Delhi Chief Minister’s sit-in seeking action against four police officers has been widely criticised. This unusual protest is uncalled for as Kejriwal has the people’s mandate to govern. He had to respect the chair he represents,” Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s uncle and senior National Conference leader Mustafa Kamal said.

He also said the party could snap its alliance with the Congress. The coalition with the Congress, Kamal said, is not a permanent feature. “It will change. The coalition with the Congress was compulsion and necessary evil for us,” he said. Stating that Omar and the party would continue to take up the issue at appropriate levels, he said: “A different dispensation in Delhi will be more sensitive to the party’s demand for lifting the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act from the state”.

Ruling out any confrontation with the Centre over the AFSPA, Kamal said: “We are morally on a high ground and the Chief Minister is fully empowered to revoke the AFSPA from the state. Omar doesn’t have full authority because the coalition partner Congress will oppose such as move. Besides, the Army is also opposing the move,” he said.

The controversial law, according to him, was imposed temporarily to facilitate the Army’s involvement at the call of the civilian government to curb militancy.

“Now that the situation has improved and militant violence is down, it is high time the  AFSPA was repealed and security forces were held accountable for human rights violations,” he said.

National Conference youth wing leader Imran Nabi Dar hoped the AFSPA issue would be sorted out amicably.



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