SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Friday said situation in the State was not conducive for withdrawing Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which gives special powers to security forces.
“Situation in J&K is not conducive for repealing of AFSPA in the State,” Mehbooba told Legislative Assembly in Jammu while replying to the discussion on Demand of Grants for the Departments under her charge.
“We too want that AFSPA should end and footprints of security forces should reduce. Do you think it (AFSPA) revocation is possible at this point of time,” she said.
Mehbooba said in past when an encounter used to take place, people of five villages near the encounter sites would leave the place but now people of five villages assemble near the encounter sites and pelt stones.
“Is it realistic to talk about AFSPA revocation at this point of time,” she said.
Mehbooba said may be in past, the AFPSA revocation process could have been started from small towns. “However, it is not possible now”.
She said as the encounters and stone pelting increases, the footprints of security forces also increases.
“You understand that when the situation is bad, the presence of security forces increases and when situation improves the footprints of security forces decreases,” she said.
Mehbooba said her government is keen that laws like AFSPA are withdrawn but for that conducive atmosphere has to be created.
On killing of civilians by army in Shopian, the CM said there is no doubt that FIR has been registered against army.
“There is no denying to the fact that Army is an institution and is a disciplined force. It has a great reputation but when someone commits a wrong the legal process has to follow,” she said.
Terming dialogue as the core philosophy of her government, Mehbooba said she has been emphasising on this aspect for long and an interlocutor has been appointed.
She hoped that all shades of opinion in the State would realise the emerging situation in J&K and the heavy toll continued violence is taking.
She expressed optimism that they would join the dialogue process initiated by Central government’s interlocutor on Kashmir Dineshwar Sharma to cut through the unending cycle of violence and uncertainty in the State.
Mehbooba also pitched for opening of more cross-LoC routes.