Kashmir cabinet to discuss AFSPA withdrawal

The Indian Army has opposed even partial lifting of AFSPA from the state, saying it would "hamper the army`s operations against terrorists".

Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir cabinet will meet here Nov 17 to discuss the revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from parts of the state, official sources said Sunday.

The cabinet would be briefed by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah about the deliberations that took place on the revocation of AFSPA at the unified command meeting here Nov 9, the sources said.

The Indian Army has opposed even partial lifting of AFSPA from the state, saying it would "hamper the army`s operations against terrorists and their network in the state".

However, Abdullah has indicated he would go ahead with the revocation of AFSPA from at least four districts of the state -- Srinagar and Budgam in the Kashmir Valley and Jammu and Samba in the Jammu region.

In an interview with a news channel recently, Abdullah said the army has not operated in these areas for long and hence doesn`t need the protection of the special powers.

The current debate on the issue began after the chief minister Oct 21 announced in Srinagar that AFSPA will go from some areas of the state within days.

AFSPA, which gives sweeping powers to the armed forces, was invoked in the valley in 1990 and the Jammu region in 2001.

IANS

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