Shun rigidity: NC tells Delhi

SHINDE’S UNDERSTANDING OF KASHMIR SITUATION MISPLACED: KAMAAL

AFSPA REVOCATION ROW

MUDDASIR ALI

Srinagar, Dec 12: Ruling National Conference (NC) on Wednesday asked Government of India to shun “rigidness” and be “realistic” to go ahead with phased withdrawal of controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from Jammu and Kashmir as “the state was completely peaceful for the past two years.”
 “This statement of Shinde Sahab (Union Home Minister), if it is true, then it shows his rigidness,” NC Additional General Secretary Dr Mustafa Kamaal told media persons on the sidelines of a party function at NC headquarters here. “It shows rigidness of Government of India (not to withdraw the law). They should be realistic and see the situation which is conducive for revocation of AFSPA”, he said.
 Kamaal was responding to recent statement of Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde that the AFSPA would not be withdrawn from J&K until the situation is completely peaceful.
 Rebutting Government of India’s normalcy parameters, Kamaal said the situation in Kashmir was “nearly 100 percent” normal.
 “He (Home Minister) has misunderstanding about Kashmir situation. The situation is peaceful and it demands that AFSPA should be revoked,” Kamaal said.
 He said New Delhi should make it clear what kind of peace they want in Kashmir. “More than 15 lakh tourists visited valley, Amarnath yatra was peaceful and the violence level has drastically gone down. Aren’t these factors indicators of peace,” Kamaal asked.
 He said Government of India was reluctant to remove AFSPA from districts which are peaceful like Jammu and Srinagar and other areas which have not witnessed militancy related incidents for the past many years.
 He said the law has outlived its utility and hence it should go from J&K. “There is neither any advantage of having the law nor do we need it,” he said.
 Senior NC leader and Rural Development Minister, Ali Muhammad Sagar said arrival of record number of tourists to Kashmir, peaceful conduct of Panchayat polls, the ongoing development works were an indication of peace in J&K.
 “Home Minister should take note of all these things,” Sagar said.
 He said AFSPA should be repealed from the areas which are free of militancy related incidents.
 “It may not be possible to stop the last bullet being fired in Kashmir so that we can say situation is right to revoke AFSPA. That is not possible,” Sagar said.
 He said a beginning has to be made. Kashmir, he said has a background of 23 years of militancy but things are now improving.
 “Bunkers have been removed from Srinagar, Sopore and Anantnag and presence of army and paramilitary forces has been reduced from many places. What else is the indication of peace?” Sagar asked.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 12 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 12 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 13 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST




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