Omar briefs cabinet on Delhi talks on AFSPA

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Thursday briefed his cabinet on the talks he held with the central leadership in New Delhi on the revocation of the AFSPA from some parts of the state.

Updated: Nov 24, 2011, 13:30 PM IST

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Thursday briefed his cabinet on the talks he held with the central leadership in New Delhi on the revocation of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) from some parts of the state.

It was the first cabinet meeting in almost one month. The last meeting was held in Srinagar Oct 28 when the ministers wanted to know why they were not taken into confidence by Abdullah before he made an announcement about the AFSPA.

Sources in the cabinet told that the chief minister gave a point by point detail about what he told the central leaders in New Delhi -- his plea on AFSPA, the reasons of a drastic decline in militancy, peace status and the ever-increasing rush of tourists and pilgrims to the Kashmir Valley this year - as well the response of the central leaders.
Abdullah said he met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Indian Army chief Gen V.K. Singh during his visit to the national capital last week.

The security experts of the state government, the army and the central government were holding discussions to reach a consensus on how the AFSPA, which gives sweeping powers to the security forces in conflict-afflicted areas and judicial immunity, could be revoked from some areas of the state.
The preliminary note of the Jammu and Kashmir government has suggested lifting of the AFSPA from four districts, including from capital city of Srinagar.

On microblogging site Twitter, Abdullah described the cabinet meeting as a "routine" and said he "briefed his colleagues over the discussions in Delhi on AFSPA".

PTI