Says reduction of troops,AFSPA repeal imperative
Defending the public outrage over the killing of two innocent youths at Chattergam, Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure that the repeated pledge on curbing human rights violations in Kashmir are strictly adhered to.
“The Prime Minister must ensure reinforcement of the resolve of his predecessors to work through peaceful means and through public participation towards restoration of peace in the state,” Sayeed said addressing an election rally in Handwara area of Kupwara district.
Two youths were killed and two others injured in army firing at Chattergam in Budgam district on Monday, leading to protests and widespread condemnation from political parties.
Sayeed said although no measure can heal the deep wounds of such dastardly acts, in the prevailing dismal situation, tangible action at the highest level could to some extent “restore the hurt psyche of the people and salvage their bruised dignity”.
Measures like reduction in the number of troops and revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) have become more than imperative, as these could be the fundamental inputs to the lasting peace in the state, he said.
“The killing of innocents cannot be justified by any means and such tragic incidents have the potential of reversing the peace and normalization efforts. “Unfortunately, almost similar circumstances had led to eruption of turmoil in Kashmir in the early 1990s,” Sayeed added.
He said the people of Jammu and Kashmir have suffered immensely because of more than two decades long dark era of death and destruction and they do not want a similar ominous situation to be enforced on them again.
Sayeed said the Centre must, without any further delay, reach out to and engage with all sections of the society including the separatist leaders in a productive dialogue process to resolve the issues. “Unless these steps are taken, the space for reconciliation will squeeze further in Kashmir and desperation levels will increase…,” he said.
Calling for reverting to the ‘Healing Touch Policy’ put in place by PDP in 2002, Sayeed said his party-led government had not only created a sense of security among the people but also restored dignity of the common masses by implementing peace and reconciliation policies.