New Delhi: Amid demands for withdrawal of
Armed Forces Special Powers Act from their state, Kashmiri
Pandits today opposed any such move and asked the Centre to
take the views of all shades of opinion of the state before
deciding on any major issue related to the state.
A group of displaced Kashmiri Pandits met Defence
Minister A K Antony to highlight their concerns over the
worsening situation in the state and press their demands.
"We have requested the Defence Minister that AFSPA should
not been withdrawn as there are special circumstances in the
Jammu and Kashmir. The Act is a must for them (security
forces)," said Utpal Kaul, a leader of Panun Kashmir, an
organisation of the community.
The members expressed their concern over the situation in
the state and asked the Minister to find a solution to end the
The delegation also impressed upon the Centre to consult
all shades of opinion of the state, including people of Jammu,
Ladakh, Kashmiri Pandits, Gujjars and Bakerwals before
deciding on any major step like the AFSPA withdrawal.
"Interest of India is being undermined by vested
interests for political reasons. The situation should be dealt
with in totality," said another delegation member Ramesh
He said Kashmiri Pandits are opposed to any kind of
dilution in the powers of the armed forces who were playing a
crucial role in the state for the country.
"There is a difficult situation in the state. People are
on the roads. Even protestors are forcing schoolgoers to fight
with security forces. We have asked Antony to intervene and
find a long lasting solution to the problem," Kaul said.