‘What are parameters for AFSPA repeal?’
Omar wants answer from Centre, says some people fond of such laws
J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Thursday slammed the voices opposing the revocation of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from the State, saying “some people will never find the time apt for lifting the law because they are fond of it.”
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a function here, the Chief Minister—without naming the Army or the successive central governments—said: “These people should tell us what are the parameters of the apt time for revocation of the law and we will try to fulfill them.”
Omar remarks come a day after the Union Home Ministry asserted that the time was “not appropriate” for withdrawal of the AFSPA from Jammu and Kashmir.
On Wednesday, the Union Minister of State for Home, KirenRijiju, told the RajyaSabha: “Different stakeholders particularly the security agencies have expressed their apprehension to the government that the revocation of the Act from J&K will jeopardize 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 Chief Minister today hit back saying some people will never find appropriate time for lifting of the law “even if we silence all the guns.” “Even if we silence 100 per cent of the guns here, they will say time is not appropriate for revocation of the law,” he said.
Omar said these people should spell out the “parameters of apt time for revocation of AFSPA.”
“I have no idea what parameters they want for that appropriate time. Let them tell us what parameters are required for that time and we will try to meet them,” he said, accusing the Centre of buying time over the issue.
“Whenever we tell them that the time is apt for AFSPA to go, they tell us not this year but next year. And then the next year, they widen the goal post,” he said.
Omar said the matter of AFSPA revocation is being discussed with the Centre. He exuded hope that their thinking will change and the process of revocation of the AFSPA begins.
Omar said he has taken up the issue of revocation of AFSPA with the Modi-led Government at the Centre. “It is an ongoing discussion. First, it was with the UPA and now the NDA government,” he said.
Omar, who is at fag end of his six-year tenure as CM, has been repeatedly telling over the past few years that the law would go in his tenure. “I can say with confidence that AFSPA withdrawal will take place during the tenure of this government and that day is also not very far,” Omar said on August 15, 2012.
ON ASSEMBLY POLLS
Meanwhile, Omar also said that holding the forthcoming Assembly polls was not a tough thing. “I consider holding of 1996 Assembly polls as toughest in the history of JK vis-à-vis security and administration,” he said, adding that the upcoming polls may be politically difficult for some.
ON SHIV SENA ACT
The Chief Minister termed the force-feeding of a Muslim employee by a Shiv Sena MP as an act of “goondaism” (hooliganism).
ON KAVITHA REMARKS
Asked about the remarks of daughter of Telangana CM and Nizamabad MP K Kavitha on Kashmir, the CM said, “You should this question to her and not me.” Kavitha had remarked that “we need to come out clean on Jammu and Kashmir. Few parts were not ours, we should agree, we should redraw the international lines.”