Omar hopeful of AFSPA revocation soon
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Last Updated: Thursday, March 29, 2012, 13:34
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Thursday said he was hopeful that the revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act from the state will begin as soon as the controversy surrounding the Army Chief settles down.

"We are hopeful that once the issues (surrounding the Army chief) are settled the process of revocation of AFSPA will be started," Omar told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.

Omar said his government had tried to start the process of partially revoking the AFSPA from the state last year but the Army had raised its concerns.

"We wanted a meeting with the Army so that the concerns could be addressed but the Army dragged its feet. Now they are caught in their own issues," he said.

The Chief Minister said the demand for revoking the AFSPA was not a political issue but based on "law" and "logic".

Commenting on the interlocutors' report on Kashmir, Omar said, it should not be consigned to the back burner as it would give the impression that the panel was only formed as a response to the summer agitation of 2010.

"The report has suggestions for addressing the internal dimensions of the (Kashmir) issue. We can start with implementing those recommendations which can be done immediately while process can be set in motion for those which will take time," he added.

On the proposed visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Pakistan, Omar said, he was hopeful that the talks between the two countries can lead to some concrete steps towards addressing the Kashmir problem.

About the encounter in Handwara area of Kupwara district yesterday, Omar stated it will not affect the ground situation in the Valley.

"I do not think it will have any impact on the situation or on tourism. We are ready to hold talks with anyone who is willing to lay down arms ... otherwise such incidents will continue to take place," he added.

Five Lashkar-e-Toiba militants were killed in an encounter with security forces in Rajwar forests, 100 kms from here, yesterday.


First Published: Thursday, March 29, 2012, 13:34

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