Omar Lashes Out At Centre On AFSPA

24 July 2014
The Daily Excelsior
Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today lashed out at Centre on withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from Jammu and Kashmir and said that there are some people who will never see conducive atmosphere for withdrawal of such Acts from the State even if militancy is completely wiped out. Chief Minister told reporters on the sidelines of investiture ceremony of State awards and Chief Minister's Gold Medal for Honesty, Integrity and Meritorious Public Services, at SKICC, Srinagar today: 'Some people won't ever see conducive atmosphere because they have liking and love for these Acts to such an extent that if we silence the gun 100 percent, even then they will say the situation is not conducive.' Omar was replying to a question on the statement made by the Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, in Rajya Sabha, yesterday in which he said that time is not appropriate for withdrawal of the AFSPA in Jammu and Kashmir. The Chief Minister, Rijiju said, 'raised the issue of withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act from the State in a phased manner, beginning from the areas which have been free from militancy for quite sometime'. 'However, various stakeholders particularly the security agencies have expressed their apprehension to the Government that the revocation of the Act from the State of Jammu and Kashmir will jeopardise their efforts in maintaining the security and law and order in the State. Hence, it has been decided that the time is not appropriate at the moment for withdrawal of AFSPA from the State,' the Minister said yesterday. Chief Minister, however, said that his Government is in touch with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) over the issue of renovation of the AFSPA: 'This (AFSPA) is an ongoing discussion with Centre, prior to this it was with the UPA and now it is with the NDA.' Omar said that he didn't know what are the parameters set by the Centre for the revocation of the AFSPA and sought clarification from it for fulfilling them. 'I don't know what the parameters for the condusive atmosphere are. If they can tell us about the parameters then we will try to achieve those parameters', he added. He blamed Centre for deliberately delaying the revocation of the AFSPA from the State. 'When we say it is the conducive atmosphere, they say not this year, next year; and next year they increase the goal post', he added. Omar hoped that thinking of the Centre over the AFSPA revocation changes so that the process of the revocation of the Act is started. 'If hope their thinking changes and at the end this process will start', he added. Chief Minister said that the forthcoming Assembly elections may be politically tough for some people but not for the administration and on security front. He said 1996 elections were tough as it was conducted at the peak of militancy. 'I think the toughest election was 1996 election for us. There is huge difference between the militancy that time and now. Politically, it may be difficult for some people but for me administratively and on security front, I think 1996 election was tough for us', said Omar. On the Kaul commission report on the killings four youth in Shopian last year, Chief Minister said: 'We got the report yesterday and it has been sent to Home Department for examination. The report will come back and whatever investigations we have to conduct we will do it', he said. On the Shive Sena MP's force feeding a fasting Muslim, Omar described it as a shameful act. 'Either they were knowing that he is a Muslim, then it is more shameful act. Even if they didn't know it, still this type of goondaism is not good for a Parliament Member. When we win elections, we should set an example by our behaviour. If we are setting this kind of example for the people of this country, I think this is shameful. We don't expect such kind of goondaism from an MP', he added.