New Delhi: "We cannot wait for last gun to fall silent," Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said today as he made a strong pitch for repeal of the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act from the state.
Supporting his demand, 43-year-old Omar asked that if no AFSPA-like laws are required to be imposed in Naxal-affected areas where heinous crimes are being committed by Naxalites, how it could be necessary to keep such laws in force in the areas in Jammu and Kashmir which have become by and large peaceful?
Strongly advocating repeal of AFSPA at the Chief Ministers` Conferences on Internal Security, which was chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he said he has been continuously pitching for partial and gradual revocation of AFSPA from the areas where peace has prevailed and militancy related incidents have diminished considerably.
Omar said he also highlighted this issue in the meetings with the Prime Minister, Home Minister and at various Unified Command Headquarter meetings and other fora and also with former Home Minister P Chidambaram.
"Though these are the fora where such issues are raised for getting noted for required action, yet if someone feels that I should write DO (demi official letter) to the concerned in this regard, I will definitely do the same," he said, adding, "We cannot wait for last gun to fall silent before moving ahead positively on this important issue."
He asked the Centre for setting in motion a mechanism which could guide in repealing of the act from the state.
Omar also chose to raise the issue of arrest of Liyaqat Shah by Delhi Police and warned that such incidents would derail the entire process of bringing back youths from Pakistan occupied Kashmir who wanted join the national mainstream.