BJP opposes AFSPA dilution; points at Pak for J&K trouble

Last Updated: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 - 22:26

New Delhi: Claiming that "certain elements"
in the Pakistan government continue to fuel trouble in Jammu
and Kashmir, BJP today said it was against any dilution of the
Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) or the demand for
autonomy of the trouble-hit region.

"Certain elements within the Pakistan government have a
big hand in the cross-border terrorism that J&K is facing. We
oppose any dilution of the AFSPA," BJP chief spokesperson
Ravishankar Prasad told reporters after the all-party meet
held at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s residence to discuss
the situation in the Valley.

BJP president Nitin Gadkari, chairman of BJP
Parliamentary party L K Advani, Leader of Opposition in Lok
Sabha Sushma Swaraj, and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha
Arun Jaitley were part of the crucial meet that lasted over
four hours.

"The security forces, including armed forces have done
very good work in the region in ensuring security against
terrorists and separatists and no decision ought to be taken
which has the effect of demoralising the security forces,"
Prasad said on the vexed issue of AFSPA.

The main opposition also asserted in the meeting that it
was opposed to any demand for autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir,
and dialogue with any group should be held within the
Constitutional framework only if they abjure violence.

"We are opposed to any demand for autonomy of Jammu and
Kashmir and want that dialogue with any group should be held
within the Constitutional frame work by abjuring violence",
Prasad said.

The BJP also said in the meeting that government should
take into confidence the people of Ladakh and Jammu prior to
taking any decision on Jammu and Kashmir, he said.

Prasad said that if the all-party delegation visits
Kashmir, as suggested by Home Minister P Chidambaram during
today`s meeting, then BJP would be part of it.

To a question if the BJP had raised the demand of
resignation of J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah in the
meeting, he said the party has already made a public demand
for this and there was no need to raise it again.

Asked if the BJP was the only party in the meeting that
sought no dilution in the AFSPA, the BJP leader said he was
not in a position to comment on behalf of other parties, but
the BJP`s stand on the issue was unwavering.

On whether he would rate the all-party meeting as a
success or failure, Prasad said the BJP was still to hear a
final word from the government.


First Published: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 - 22:26

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