Jammu (PTI): Pushing for partial lifting of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Monday 7 January asked all stakeholders concerned to shed rigidity to help take a decision based on the ground situation and for the benefit of people of the state.
“It’s surprising that whenever we have talked about lifting of AFSPA, certain vested interests have been working overtime and making projections as if we want it to be removed from the entire state whereas we want it to be lifted from certain parts only,” Omar, who completed four years as the head of the National Conference-Congress coalition government Sunday, said.
With two years remaining for Assembly elections in the state, 42-year-old Omar said he will again approach the Centre and make a case for partial withdrawal of the AFSPA.
“It was never a political issue or an emotional argument from us. Our stand has always been based on sound logic and a realistic assessment of the ground situation,” he said.
Questioning the claims of ‘vested interests’ that partial withdrawal of AFSPA will see a rise in militancy, the chief minister asked “whom are they trying to fool? This is an insult to the Army and other security agencies who are manning the border. Those propagating such an idea indirectly mean that Army is doing nothing. This is an absolute misinformation campaign launched to demoralise the Army, CRPF and state police.”
“First and foremost I never advocated lifting it from areas close to the Line of Control or so. I have suggested that it could be lifted from areas like Srinagar and Jammu cities,” Omar said in reply to a question about apprehensions that the areas, where the AFSPA will be withdrawn, would become a safe haven for terrorists.
Asked about the response for his attempts so far on the AFSPA issue, the Chief Minister said, “We have not been successful but this does not mean that we should not try. We are trying and I know for sure that something positive will emerge.”