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

PTI


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


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