Differences between allies PDP and BJP over the issue of revocation of the controversial AFSPA in Jammu and Kashmir came to the fore on Tuesday following yesterday’s three back-to-back terror attacks in the Valley.
The Army on its part said the matter was being discussed by the state government and the Centre.
“Let them decide on it… We will do our job,” General Officer Commanding of 15 Corps Lt General Subrata Saha told reporters in Srinagar.
BJP members, carrying placards with “Big No to AFSPA removal” and “Pakistan Hai Hai” (down with Pakistan) stormed the well of the J and K Assembly as they demanded that a resolution condemning Pakistan “for sponsoring terrorism in India” must be passed.
“Pakistan is a terrorist state which has been sponsoring terrorism in India. The terrorist attacks that took place yesterday must act as an eye-opener for those who advocate the revocation of AFSPA,” BJP member Ravinder Raina said.
Later while speaking to reporters, Raina said, “The situation is not ripe for the revocation of AFSPA from any part of the state… Pakistan is continuously stabbing us in the back”.
The demand by the ruling coalition partner BJP not to revoke Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) from the state came a day after Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed said the state government would work towards a phased withdrawal of AFSPA from areas in the state that are free from militancy for some time.
“Keeping in view the improving security scenario, the state government will examine the need for denotifying disturbed areas which have been free from militancy related incidents for quite some time so as to enable a phased withdrawal of AFSPA from such areas,” Sayeed said in a written reply in the state Assembly.
PDP Chief Spokesman and Education Minister Naeem Akhtar said there should be no need for laws like AFSPA which will give an impression that State is being run by the Army.
“There should be no need of such laws which will give such a impression that you (Government) are running a state on the strength of Army. That is very bad for this country”, Akhtar told reporters here.
“If we are doing everything through democratic means– Be it elections that were held through democratic process or setting up of a civilian government here–and now that we are holding civic elections democratically and empowering Panchayats. Even after that, if there is need for such a law, I do not feel that it matches the democratic spirit and democratic system of this country,” he added.
Taking a dig at Sayeed, National Conference leader and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah took a dig at Sayeed for his remark on AFSPA.
“So Mufti has rushed to New Delhi to explain the PM and HM that he did not mean it when he said he would take a decision to revoke AFSPA.” he wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter.
Militants yesterday carried out three apparently-synchronised attacks in the Valley killing three policemen and injuring two persons. (Agencies)