Other States

Will revoke AFSPA in a phased manner: Mufti Sayeed

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said on Monday that his government would work towards the gradual removal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) after taking the Army on board.

Mr. Sayeed also reiterated the need for talks with Pakistan and the Hurriyat as he read out sections from the common minimum programme agreed to by his party and coalition partner, BJP, in the Legislative Council.

Though Mr. Sayeed’s speech was largely a repetition of his address in the Assembly a few days ago, it is significant now as it comes against the backdrop of two militant attacks in Kathua and Samba on successive days last week. Mr. Sayeed had on Sunday blamed the attacks on non-state actors and said Pakistan must rein in extremists if it wanted peace with India.

“I want to tell everybody that Pakistan, Pakistani Prime Minister and Pakistani establishment should be told that nobody should be allowed to cross onto this side... only then will there be peace,” Mr. Sayeed said in his reply to the Governor’s address.

On the AFSPA, Mr. Sayeed said there were certain reservations as far as the Defence Ministry and some Army officers were concerned. Mr. Sayeed read out passages verbatim from the CMP, stressing the need for initiating a meaningful dialogue with “all the internal stakeholders, irrespective of their ideological positions,” to resolve all the outstanding issues of Kashmir.

On cross-border firing, the Chief Minister said he would leave no stone unturned to ensure peace at the border with Pakistan. “During our rule, we told Gen. N.C. Vij, the then Army Chief, that this was vital and there was full fencing. They [Pakistan] were not allowing us to construct the fence,” he said. “But now there is some technique to cut the fence.”

“I want to assure the members, who have concerns on the issue, that we will create an atmosphere of peace and normality on the borders,” he said.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2020 12:13:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/will-revoke-afspa-in-a-phased-manner-mufti-sayeed/article7024092.ece

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