Srinagar: The Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) on Wednesday made it clear that unless militancy and stone pelting doesn’t stop in the valley, the Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA), should not be revoked from Jammu and Kashmir.
“Our stand is very clear that AFSPA cannot be revoked unless and until peace and normalcy is restored in Jammu and Kashmir,” BJP State General Secretary Ashok Koul said.
He also pointed out that the BJP government in the centre is closely monitoring the situation in Kashmir and will take the decision on AFSPA revocation at the right and appropriate time.
Interestingly in the Agenda for Alliance, the PDP and BJP had agreed that while both parties have historically held a different view on AFSPA and the need for it in the State, as part of the agenda for governance of this alliance, the coalition government will examine the need for de-notifying ‘disturbed areas’.
Koul further said, “Our Jawans are being killed. Today a PDP leader was shot dead. Stone pelting has not stopped. How can we expect the revocation of the act in these circumstances? BJP leader questioned.
The statement comes a day after BJP’s coalition partner People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said that the act must go from the Jammu and Kashmir.
“From day one we wanted peace in Kashmir. We too want that AFSPA should end,” PDP Vice President Sartaj Madni had said.
He had said that the PDP is keen that law like AFSPA is withdrawn and that the revocation of AFSPA is part of Agenda for Alliance between the two parties.
It is to mention here that while addressing a conference in New Delhi chief minister Mehbooba Mufti had said AFSPA should be revoked from some areas of the State.
“We should not shy away from revocation of AFSPA. When things improve, why not?” she had said added “We don’t shy away when situation goes bad. We don’t shy away from calling more forces. We ask army to be more proactive, but when the situation improves, we should not shy away from the fact we need to start revocation of AFSPA from some places and see what the impact is”.
During 2014 assembly campaign in the state the PDP leaders had promised that if voted to power, the party will ensure that AFSPA is withdrawn from the state. The BJP on the other hand, had opposed the withdrawal of the act.
Mehbooba’s predecessor and Opposition National conference leader, Omar Abdullah had in 2012 expressed confident that “ the day was not far” when AFSPA will be withdrawn from the state during his governments tenure.
However after failing in his attempt, Omar blamed the collation partner Congress and opposition PDP for not supporting him in his endeavor to get AFSPA revoked.
The voices for the revocation of AFSPA have gotten shriller after it was removed completely from Meghalaya and restricted to eight police stations bordering Assam and three districts neighboring Myanmar.
While Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Monday asked New Delhi to withdraw controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from Kashmir saying that “draconian” act has played havoc with “our lives” the number of legal luminaries including Senior lawyer, Zafar Shah, Noted human rights defender and lawyer, Parvez Imroz, had said that the Armed forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) is draconian and should be revoked.
(With inputs from KNS)