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Cong calls for "consensus" on AFSPA

Congress on Thursday called for "consensus" among all stakeholders on AFSPA as the issue once again kicked up a controversy.

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

"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


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