Defence Minister A. K. Antony on Tuesday asserted there is no delay on part of the Government on Jammu and Kashmir and a decision will be taken after consulting political parties at a meeting here on Wednesday.
``We will take a decision after taking into confidence all major political parties. There is no question of any delay. The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has carefully assessed all aspects of the situation and decided to consult other political parties’’ Mr. Antony told correspondents on the sidelines of an Air Force function here.
The Minister was responding to questions as to why no decision was taken at CCS meeting on Monday including the demand by the State Government to withdraw the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act from parts of Jammu and Kashmir.
As for the situation in the Kashmir valley and fresh violence there, the Defence Minister described it is as a difficult period and underscored that religious passions were running high across the world. He appealed to all sides to restrain irresponsible elements and maintain peace in the State.
On his part, the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik, said a soldier needs protection available under AFSPA. The Government, he said, is sensitive to the requirements of the armed forces and would factor this before taking any decision.
Earlier, Mr. Antony dedicated the Air Force Network (AFNET) a dedicated digitised information grid of the Indian Air Force to the nation at a brief ceremony held at the Air Force Auditorium, Subroto Park.
The AFNET provides an effective, robust and secure voice, data and video communication among the IAF bases spread across the country, its air defence sensor and weapon delivery platforms in real time.
The audience was treated to a real time live demonstration with IAF jets scrambling on a mock mission to intercept and neutralise intruders and on successful completion, Mr. Antony asking the jets to return to the bases.
Expressing satisfaction on the completion of the project, the Minister thanked the Minister of Communications A. Raja, who was also present, for the cooperation and said the task will remain incomplete till similar networks are established for the Indian Army and the Indian Navy.
On his part, Mr. Raja said the dedicated network, in which the public sector Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited played a major role, will free spectrum that can be put to use for people to meet the ever increasing demand in India.
Air Chief, P.V. Naik, said the network will help the IAF translate real time information and cut down time in taking decisive action. He praised BSNL as also private sector HCL and CISCO for working on the project and completing it in a record time by connecting each and every Air Force base in the country.