Time not ripe for AFSPA revocation: J&K minister

Last Updated: Saturday, October 29, 2011 - 18:21

Srinagar: After Congress leader Saifuddin
Soz, another party leader has questioned Chief Minister Omar
Abdullah`s bid to revoke AFSPA from some parts of Jammu and
Kashmir saying the time is not ripe for such a move.

"The time is not yet ripe for revoking the AFSPA. May be
next year...May be when we have another peaceful summer,"
Congress leader and Public Health Engineering Minister Taj
Mohiuddin told reporters here.

He said there was no guarantee that the areas, where
Armed Forces Special Powers Act is revoked, will not become a
safe haven for militants. "Can anyone guarantee that?"

Mohiuddin said Kashmir was not a place where politics
can be played. While Congress supported revocation of the Act,
all the stake-holders need to be taken on board before a
decision is taken on the issue, he said.

"All the stakeholders need to be taken into confidence on
the matter and it should be placed before the cabinet before
sending it to the Governor (for approval)," Mohiuddin said.

This view was shared by all the Congress ministers in the
state and even the party, he stated.

Asked if Omar had jumped the gun by announcing that AFSPA
will be revoked from some areas before taking the state
cabinet into consideration, Mohiuddin said the Chief Minister
was privy to information which he did not have and would not
comment on it.

"(Moreover), the CM has said that he is holding
consultations with army and Union Home Ministry on the issue
...We are sure we will be able to reach a consensus," he said.

Asked if the AFSPA was discussed during yesterday`s
cabinet meeting, Mohiuddin said he cannot divulge what
transpired there.

Commenting on the statement of JKPCC president Saifuddin
Soz that Omar had not consulted the Congress before making the
announcement, Mohiuddin said he cannot talk for others.

The minister, however, maintained that he was consulted
on the issue.

To a query, Mohiuddin said there was no question of
destabilising the Omar-led government in the wake of voices
within Congress demanding rotation of the chief minister`s
post after the ruling coalition completes three years in
office.

"I can vouch for this that he (Omar) is going to be the
Chief Minister for all six years... A decision on the issue is
to be taken by the Congress high command and as of now, there
is no change in our stand," the minister added.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, October 29, 2011 - 18:21

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