January 2017 News

AFSPA Will Go Only After Forces Restore Peace: Mehbooba

16 January 2017
Greater Kashmir
Syed Rizwan Geelani

Jammu: Linking revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) with restoration of peace in Kashmir, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Monday said the controversial law will be revoked after security forces are successful in curbing infiltration of militants. 'Revocation of AFSPA depends on the competence of security forces. Their success in maintaining peace, curbing infiltrations will pave way for revocation of AFSPA,' the CM said while replying on Motion of Thanks on Governor's Address in the Upper House. She said the footprints of security forces reduce 'naturally' in a peaceful democratic setup. 'This has been accepted by every party here that with the peaceful democratic set up, footprints of security forces reduces naturally.' Stating that J&K's historic and geographic relationship with Pakistan cannot be altered, she said the remedy for resolution of Kashmir issue has to be looked by Government of India by managing the external dimensions of the issue. 'New Delhi has to find a solution for Kashmir issue and initiate a dialogue process with Pakistan,' CM said. 'Our present Prime Minister also approached Pakistan to start a peaceful dialogue process. He went to Lahore but after a few days we saw Pathankot attack. These issues derailed the dialogue process. But India is a democratic country and I hope that the process will be initiated again in coming times,' Mehbooba said. CM Mehbooba however said the before advocating for dialogue process, there is a need to maintain the internal dimensions of the issue which can be resolved under a democratic setup. 'Democracy is a tool under which we can find a solution to any problem,' she said. Recalling the contribution of former CM Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, she said Mufti gave his life in developing a proper democratic setup in the JK state. 'In 1951 there was a time when nobody could contest elections but gradually people started to believe in democracy after 2002 when PDP came to power,' she said. On anger against the party for aligning with BJP, Mehbooba said Mufti Sayeed always used to take hard decisions and 'aligning with present coalition partner was one such decision.' 'This time people are expressing anger for our joining hand with BJP. But there was a time when Mufti sahib became part of Congress when people associated with the party were treated as untouchables. People during those days didn't even visit for condolence the families of Congress workers fearing threat of social boycott,' she said.