PDP Threatens To Mobilise Public Opinion If AFSPA Not Repealed

23 August 2009

Srinagar: Opposition Peoples Democratic Party on Sunday threatened to mobilise public opinion against Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) if it was not repealed. 'We demand repealing AFSPA. We would intensify mobilisation of public opinion against the draconian law,' a party spokesman said. 'If ever it had any utility, the law has clearly outlived that and the vastly improved ground situation has made it an unnecessary tool of repression,' he said, adding it had to be repealed as a starting point for opening a new chapter of reconciliation. Referring to the Prime Minister's remarks on Kashmir on Independence Day, the spokesman pointed out that it was after many years that the Independence Day message had undergone a total reversal from that of hope to despair by blocking avenues of dialogue. Recalling the success of the people in having their genuine demands about the Amarnath land and start of trade across LoC conceded, the spokesman said these could be achieved only through peaceful and democratic assertion of people's power. He said no gun or violent agitation could have made it possible and PDP is confident that the AFSPA would also be rolled back under popular pressure which it will try to channelise in and outside the state assembly within the democratic space.