Address concerns of defence forces first: Congress

Differences appeared in the ruling NC-led coalition in Jammu and Kashmir over the issue of revocation of AFSPA with ally Congress today favouring talks with the Defence Ministry on the matter.

Last Updated: Oct 25, 2011, 20:39 PM IST

Srinagar: Differences appeared in the
ruling NC-led coalition in Jammu and Kashmir over the issue of
revocation of AFSPA with ally Congress today favouring talks
with the Defence Ministry on the matter.

"There has to be consultations with the Defence Minister.
The defence forces have some reservations and these have to be
ironed out before the Act can be revoked," state Congress
chief Saifuddin Soz said.

He said even though Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had
held consultation with the Union Home Minister, he should also
consult the Defence Ministry.

"AFSPA has to ultimately go. It has to go one day when
there is normalcy. If Omar is convinced that militancy has
receded, AFSPA can be withdrawn but not before consultations
with the Defence Minister and the defence forces," Soz said.

Highly-placed sources in the state Congress said the
Chief Minister had not held any talks with his coalition
partner on the issue.

Omar last week announced that the Armed Forces Special
Powers Act, which was invoked in the state after the advent
of militancy in 1990s, will be revoked from some areas of the
state within next few days.

PTI