AFSPA a functional requirement: Army Chief

Our Stand On The Law Clear: Lt Gen Hasnain


New Delhi, Apr 16: Army Chief Gen V K Singh Monday said AFSPA was a “functional requirement” for the armed forces in certain areas even as Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah pressed for partial revocation of the controversial law in the state.
“Everyone knows what our view is on this subject. It is based on functional requirement and how the Army is supposed to be in a particular area,” Gen Singh told reporters in Delhi when asked to comment on demands for lifting Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from parts of Jammu and Kashmir.

SHABIR IBN YUSUF Adds from Srinagar: Meanwhile, General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps on Monday said its stand on revocation of the AFSPA from parts of Jammu and Kashmir is clear and needed no further elucidation.
Army has opposed the partial revocation of AFSPA from the state, maintaining it would hamper its efforts to fight militancy.
“We have already spoken about AFSPA. There is no change in our stance,” Lt Gen SA Hasnain told reporters here.
“We have already given our explanation. I don’t think it requires any more comments,” he said.
Asked about Chief Minister’s recent statement that AFSPA will go, the Army Commander said “the day it is revoked, you come back to me and I will comment on it.”
‘Ripples of Afghan violence can reach Kashmir’
The GOC said that the recent events in Afghanistan will have a long term bearing on Kashmir.
“There is no immediate effect at all. There are events which put together can give us certain indicators. But, in the long term, Yes, I have always maintained that an event in one place can have a ripple effect somewhere else, and I am sure the ripples will reach here,” he said.
The Lt Gen said there were no indicators to suggest that the events in Afghanistan, including yesterday’s attacks by Taliban in Kabul and other provincial capitals, were having an effect on Kashmir.

The GOC dispelled fears that militant posters appearing in certain places in the Valley could affect the security situation.
“First of all, we are too used to these posters. If the army fears poster warfare then the army should sit forever. The fact is that the people do not heed these poster messages,” he said.

About the possibility of violence erupting around the municipal elections likely to be held next month, the GOC said; “During the Panchayat elections too, some violence had happened. The political activity at the grassroots level has to continue, and for that the police jointly with the army are responsible for creating conducive atmosphere.”

Lastupdate on : Mon, 16 Apr 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 16 Apr 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 17 Apr 2012 00:00:00 IST

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