There should be talks with Pakistan; will gradually repeal AFSPA from J&K: Mufti
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said on Monday that Pakistan should be told not to allow cross-border elements to this side so that border remains peaceful adding that border was a great challenge and he would leave no stone unturned to ensure peace at the border with Pakistan.
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said on Monday that Pakistan should be told not to allow cross-border elements to this side so that border remains peaceful adding that border was a great challenge and he would leave no stone unturned to ensure peace at the border with Pakistan.
Speaking in the state legislative council on Monday, Sayeed said there was no violation of ceasefire from across the borders in Jammu region from 2002 to 2010.
"We have to solve the problem and ensure peace for the border residents. Our border farmer is a big sufferer because his crops get damaged and lives are in danger because of firing from across the border,” he said.
During a debate on cross border firing on the international border in Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts of the Jammu region, Sayeed said, "We will engage Pakistan for peace and I will ensure that peace returns to our border areas."
In a statement that could lead to fresh trouble with its ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Sayeed said that his government will gradually repeal the contentious Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from the state.
"Keeping in view the improving security scenario, the state government will examine the need for denotifying 'disturbed areas', which have been free from militancy-related incidents for quite some time," Sayeed said.
"Any move to withdraw AFSPA will be a gradual one after taking everyone on board, including the Army," he added.
Bilateral ceasefire signed by India and Pakistan in 2003 held well till the last two to three years bringing in a modicum of normalcy into the lives of thousands of villagers living on the two sides of the international border and the LoC in Indian and Pakistan administers parts of divided Kashmir.
Since 2013, Pakistan troops have frequently been targeting Indian border guards and civilian populations on the international border which often forces hundreds of villagers to abandon homes and agricultural fields to seek shelter at safer places away from the live of Pakistani fire.
(With Agency inputs)