PDP Threatens to Quit J and K Talks With BJP

The BJP, according to sources, has told the PDP that the AFSPA can only be repealed only with the concurrence of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Army.

Published: 19th February 2015 05:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th February 2015 07:46 AM   |  A+A-


SRINAGAR:The PDP on Wednesday asserted that it would pull out from all J&K government formation talks with the BJP if it failed to reach an agreement on Article 370 and the revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).

“Our talks on government formation in the state with the BJP have hit a roadblock. There are differences on approach and we are trying to resolve the deadlock,” a senior PDP leader, who is close to party patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, told Express.

He said the two parties had discussed their respective agendas during informal talks in the last two months. “Since both parties have varied plans and ideologies, we discussed each other’s agendas,” he said.

The PDP leader said state BJP leaders would hold discussions with their party’s Central leadership.

On Article 370, he said the parties were at variance over “the wording”. “They (the BJP) want different wordings on the issue, while we want the wordings which will guarantee its safeguarding and protection,” he said.

“Besides, there is difference of opinion on AFSPA. We want the revocation of the Act from peaceful areas in view of the marked improvement in the security situation in J&K,” the PDP leader said. He added that the BJP remained “non-committal” on the issue.

The BJP, according to sources, has told the PDP that the AFSPA can only be repealed only with the concurrence of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Army. However, both the MoD and the Army have been opposing the revocation of the Act as demanded by the PDP.

The PDP has refused to form an alliance with the saffron party unless it agreed to its terms and conditions on the vexed issues, the leader said.

“We have told them in such a situation, the BJP is free to go its way and we will carry on,” he said.

On the BJP’s demand to settle West Pakistan Refugees (WPRs) in J&K, he said, “This is a Constitutional issue. It would need a two-thirds majority in the 87-member Assembly to pass the law. Both the parties know they don’t have the numbers. Even if we join hands, we can’t get two-thirds majority to pass the law.”

The BJP has demanded permanent residency for WPRs, who had been residing in J&K since 1947, while the PDP is opposed to granting citizenship rights to them.

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