Omar hopeful of AFSPA revocation soon

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.

PTI



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

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