Reduce footprints of forces: Antony
Non-committal On AFSPA Revocation
SHABIR IBN YUSUF
Srinagar, July 28: Defence Minister AK Antony Saturday stressed for reduction in the visibility of armed forces in Jammu and Kashmir, saying there can be no justification for human rights violations. Revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) also figured during a brief one-to-one between Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and the Defence Minister.
“There can be no justification for the violation of human rights,” Antony said while chairing the meeting of Unified Headquarters here. “Efforts should be made to reduce the visibility of the armed forces as much as possible without compromising efficacy,” he added.
While addressing the meeting, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said that situation in the Valley is not alarming. “The situation is peaceful as tourists and Amaranth pilgrims are flocking to the Valley in large numbers,” Omar said during the meeting. “The operations against the militants should be carried out without any civilian causality,” Omar asserted.
The Defence Minister, according to sources, was all praise for J&K government. “It is very good sign that peace is prevailing. The security forces should ensure operations without collateral damage,” he said.
Antony, sources said, also expressed his satisfaction at the improved level of coordination among various security agencies in J&K, leading to significant reduction in infiltration from across the border in recent times. “The coordination mechanism should be made perfect to thwart any attempt from enemies to disturb peace in the state,” he said, adding that ‘enemies from across the border’ will continue their efforts. “I am hopeful that security agencies will foil such designs,” he said.
Extending the Centre’s whole hearted support to the state government for their development programmes, he announced that the rate of rent of private land under occupation of armed forces will be revised next year by Ministry of Defence, ground work for which has already started.
Besides Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, the meeting was attended by Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand, Minister of State for Home Nasir Aslam Wani, Chief of Army Staff Gen Bikram Singh, Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma, the GOC-in-C Northern Command Lt Gen KT Parnaik, Director General of Police Ashok Prasad, IG Kashmir SM Sahai and Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Dr Asgar Hussain Samoon.
Before the Unified Communed Meeting, during a brief one-to-one between Defence Minister and Omar Abdullah, the Chief Minister apprised Antony about the efforts of his government for AFSPA revocation from certain pockets of J&K. “Omar told Antony that there is visible decline in militancy in J&K and people want revocation of the law (AFSPA) that has been implemented more than two decades ago to fight militancy,” sources told Greater Kashmir. Sources added that Defence Minister told Omar Abdullah that he had come to the Valley to see the ground situation.
Earlier in the day, shortly after his arrival in Srinagar, Antony, accompanied by Gen Bikram Singh, Shashi Kant Sharma and Lt Gen KT Parnaik flew to the Uri Sector to interact with the army personnel deployed there. Antony was briefed by Lt Gen Parnaik on the security situation in the state at Srinagar.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 28 Jul 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 28 Jul 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 29 Jul 2012 00:00:00 IST
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