Withdraw Disturbed Areas Act: PDP to J&K govt

Demanding concrete steps towards resolving the Kashmir issue, Opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday asked the state government to initiate process of revoking AFSPA by withdrawing the Disturbed Areas Act.

Last Updated: Jul 30, 2011, 18:50 PM IST

Srinagar: Demanding concrete steps towards
resolving the Kashmir issue, Opposition Peoples Democratic
Party (PDP) on Saturday asked the state government to initiate
process of revoking AFSPA by withdrawing the Disturbed Areas
Act.

PDP today sponsored a `Panchayat conference` here, which
was attended by its patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, party
president Mehbooba Mufti and other senior leaders.
"The conference demands that the Centre and state
government take steps in right direction for resolution of
Kashmir issue," senior PDP leader Muzaffar Hussain Beig said
while reading the resolution of the conference.

The PDP, which claimed to have won more than 8,000
panch and sarpanch posts out of 15000 posts in the Valley, had
organised the conference for the panchs and sarpanchs to press
for political resolution of Kashmir issue.

The resolution also demanded revocation of Armed
Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and Disturbed Areas Act from
the areas of the state where it was not needed.

Beig said the state government can initiate the
process of revoking AFSPA by withdrawing the Disturbed Areas
Act.

"It was the Farooq Abdullah led government (in 1989)
which had declared the state as a disturbed area. This led the
Centre to invoke the AFSPA in the state. If the state
government revokes the Disturbed Areas Act, the AFSPA will
have to go also," he claimed.

Beig said while PDP was satisfied over the peaceful
summer in Kashmir this year, but it cannot be sustained unless
the basic issue is resolved.
The conference also welcomed the Jammu and
Kashmir-centric CBMs announced by India and Pakistan at the
end of the talks between External Affairs Minister S M Krishna
and his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar in Delhi
recently.

"However, the conference is disappointed with the
human rights situation in Kashmir even as the summer this year
has been peaceful," Beig said.

He said more than 5,000 youth were languishing in
jails and their careers have been marred as the state has
registered cases against them.

The former deputy chief minister said no action has
been taken against those security force personnel who were
involved in killing of more than 100 persons. "On the
contrary, they have been granted promotions."

He said the Centre should implement the recommendations
made by the Prime Minister`s working Group on Jammu and
Kashmir headed by Hamid Ansari, now Vice President of the
country.

Although the Panchayat elections in the state were held
on non-partisan basis, the conference organised by the PDP is
seen as an attempt to claim victory in the grass root level
polls.

PTI