AFSPA Issue To Be Taken Up With Centre: Omar

AFSPA Issue To Be Taken Up With Centre: Omar

29 March 2012
The Hindustan Times


Srinagar: Declaring that the Jammu and Kashmir government was ready to talk to all those who shun the path of violence, chief minister Omar Abdullah said on Thursday that he will take up the issue of revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) with the Centre. 'Violence is no answer to any problem as all the issues could be resolved peacefully through a dialogue process,' Abdullah said on the sidelines of a function organized in connection with the opening of Asia's largest tulip garden here. He said he has been advocating that Kashmir issue can be resolved through a dialogue process peacefully. 'We appreciate the dialogue process between India and Pakistan as cordial relations between the two will benefit the people of Kashmir,' he said. The chief minister said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had a meeting with his counterpart in Pakistan and the dialogue process must continue to settle all their outstanding issues peacefully. About AFSPA, Abdullah said he did not want to make it a 'political issue'. 'Since everybody has acknowledged that the graph of militancy has come down considerably in the Valley and people have also helped in the peace process, the benefits must also reach them now,' the chief minister added. Omar said his government 'tried to get AFSPA revoked at least from some areas where there is no militancy but Army did not cooperate as a result we had to wait'. In reply to a question, he charged, 'Now the Army is busy with some internal problems. Let them resolve these problems, we will again take up the issue with them.' However, he said he was confident that there would be partial revocation of AFSPA this year.