Cong calls for "consensus" on AFSPA
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Last Updated: Thursday, November 10, 2011, 20:49
New Delhi: Congress on Thursday called for "consensus" among all stakeholders on AFSPA as the issue once again kicked up a controversy with Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah asserting his government has the authority to revoke it and questioning PCC Chief Saifuddin Soz's comments in a newspaper.

"As far AFSPA is concerned, various stakeholders have various views. The situation there demands that there should be certain amount of consensus on the issue.

"Although the state government is an important stakeholder and its views have to be given due weightage, the appropriate thing will be that all stakeholders must evolve a consensus before any decision is taken," party spokesperson Manish Tewari told reporters here.

His remarks came amid signs of fresh strain between coalition partners National Conference and Congress in the state on the issue.

Reacting sharply to an interview in a local daily in, which Soz claimed Rahul was "not happy" with the governance in the state, Omar questioned his authority to speak on behalf of Gandhi.

"I don't know whether Soz sahab is authorised to speak on behalf of Rahul Gandhi, most certainly I am not," the National Conference leader said, noting that Rahul has never said anything about the issues of governance in the state.

Debate over the partial revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and Disturbed Areas Act, introduced in 1990 to give the army and paramilitary forces powers to detain suspects and use deadly force, began last month when Chief Minister Omar Abdullah announced the Acts would be revoked from parts of the state "within few days".

The Army maintains that any tampering with the law will "handicap" their capability to conduct counter insurgency operations.


First Published: Thursday, November 10, 2011, 20:49

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