New Delhi: Defence Minister A K Antony
on Thursday dismissed demands for the withdrawal of Armed Forces
Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from Jammu and Kashmir, saying
infiltration attempts were still continuing and terrorists
could not be given any "opportunity to succeed" there.
"Militancy has come down substantially but at the same
time our feedback is not giving us comfort. Attempts for
infiltration are still continuing... We cannot take any step
that will give an opportunity for militants to succeed there,"
he told reporters here.
The minister was asked if the controversial Act could be
repealed, or withdrawn from the Kashmir Valley.
Stressing on the need for armed forces to be careful,
Antony said, "Inimical forces across the border, 24x7 they are
trying to send people to Jammu and Kashmir."
Observing that the situation in the state was fast
improving "because of various reasons", he said the security
forces cannot relax and have to be vigilant.
Several political leaders, including Jammu and Kashmir
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, have sought partial withdrawal
and dilution of the AFSPA in recent months. The Home ministry
has indicated that it was already doing a review of the law
that provided sweeping powers to the armed forces.