‘AFSPA dilution detrimental to national interest’

Army Chief General VK Singh warned that partial revocation of AFSPA from Jammu and Kashmir will create terrorist `sanctuaries`.

Last Updated: Dec 30, 2011, 21:41 PM IST

New Delhi: Warning that partial revocation
of AFSPA from Jammu and Kashmir will create terrorist
`sanctuaries`, Army Chief General VK Singh has said dilution
of the controversial Act will be `detrimental` to national
interest.

In an interview to the coming issue of Sainik Samachar,
the Army Chief said, "Just one summer of peace does not mean
normalcy... Diluting of AFSPA in any form will be detrimental
to national interest."

He said though the Army has not operated in some parts of
Kashmir, if AFSPA is revoked, "Army will not have legal
protection to operate even if situation goes bad."

The Army Chief was asked why the force was opposing
partial withdrawal of AFSPA from the state.

Noting that the Army would be constrained in operations
against terrorists, he said, "Partial revocation of AFSPA will
result in emergence of sanctuaries and safe havens for
terrorists."

General Singh said though the degree of violence has
decreased in the state, terror infrastructure in PoK was still
intact.

"The operational flexibility of troops will be severely
restricted and efforts to stabilize and consolidate the
situation in the state will receive a setback," he said.

Mentioning that there were issues related to safety of
Army personnel located in non-AFSPA areas, General Singh said,
"One should not view security situation of reduced violence in
one summer, but allow consolidation of gains made before
taking a call on revocation of AFSPA."

Maintaining that the withdrawal of the Act from Jammu and
Kashmir will hamper the security forces` operations against
terrorist groups and will bring terror attacks back to the
state, Army has been opposing the moves for partial revocation
of the controversial Act.

PTI