PDP, BJP not on the same page on AFSPA revocation in Jammu & Kashmir

The saffron party says the controversial law should not be revoked until peace and normalcy has been restored

Published: 16th March 2017 06:46 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th March 2017 06:46 PM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

SRINAGAR: The ruling alliance partners in Jammu and Kashmir – PDP and BJP –are not on the same page on Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) revocation in the State with the saffron party stressing that the controversial law should not be revoked unless peace and normalcy is restored in the militancy-infested State.

“BJP’s stand is very clear that AFSPA cannot be revoked unless and until peace and normalcy is restored in Jammu and Kashmir,” BJP vice president and Incharge J&K, Avinash Khanna told reporters on the sidelines of a party convention, here.

He said the central government is closely monitoring the situation in Kashmir and will take the decision on AFSPA revocation at the right and appropriate time.

Khanna’s comments come a day after J&K Chief Minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti pitched for withdrawal of the AFSPA from some areas of the State.

While addressing a conference on counter terrorism in national capital organised by India Foundation, a think tank run by Shaurya Doval son of NSA A K Doval, Mehbooba had said AFSPA should be revoked from some areas of the State.

She said PDP and BJP had come together to form coalition government in the State on an Agenda of Alliance which included revocation of AFSPA.

"We should not shy away from revocation of AFSPA. When things improve, why not?" she said adding “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 is the impact”.

In the Agenda of Alliance (Aoa), the PDP and BJP have 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’.

“This, as a consequence, would enable the Central government to take a final view on the continuation of AFSPA in these areas,” further reads the AoA which was framed by the two parties after over three months of tough negotiations before forming coalition government on March 1, 2015.

Army has been opposing repeal of AFSPA saying it would impact its operations against the militants in the State.

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