The senior Congress leader and former union minister Prof Saifuddin Soz on Thursday said that immediate revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPSA) could prove to be the first step towards healing the wounds of Kashmiris.
In a statement here Soz said, "If Government of India wants to respond to the grim situation created by the forces in which fifty precious lives were lost and hundreds got wounded, then, the first step would be to scrap AFSPA from the Jammu and Kashmir. AFSPA, no doubt, is a draconian law and it has mostly been misused in the State."
"The armed forces and paramilitary forces have laws available to check violence of all kinds. The AFSPA only provides immunity to forces for not being accountable for any of their actions, at all !" he said.
"As a citizen, I felt amazed when senior functionaries of the Government of India, committed recently that they would explore the possibility of using lesser lethal weapons than pellet-guns, as this assertion pre-supposes that they have only to fight. They also, perhaps, meant that Govt of India has nothing to do in the realm of Insaniyat," he added.
"Government of India take the suggested first step (Removal of AFSPA) that might create the possibility of a dialogue with the opinion leaders in Kashmir!" he added.