Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said the continued use of a law of emergency nature like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) is against the spirit of the constitution and amounts to denial of fundamental rights to life and liberty enshrined in it.
Reiterating his party’s stand on the revocation of the special law the party patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed today said that the very claim of country to a democratic system suffers a blow when the people of an entire state are denied fundamental rights on the pretext of security.
Mufti said he had been advocating the revocation of AFSPA since 2007 when the prime minister had on his suggestion had appointed a high powered committee to examine the issue. He said continuing the law to operate in the changed circumstances when the militancy is substantially reduced and people have overwhelmingly participated in democratic process is a hurdle in complete normalcy and a setback to peace process. “J&K cannot be eternally governed through black laws if the region has to come out of its painful history of discord and destabilization,” Mufti said.
Terming the latest suggestion of using Army in controlling unrest among people as a serious setback to process of normalisation, Mufti said any civilian government having to resort to it is not worth the representative character it claims. “Can there be a more profound evidence of a government’s failure,” he asked. The claim of such a government of trying to lift AFSPA is no more than another hollow slogan of national conference that has lived off such gimmicks for most part of their history, he added.
“The government is trying to terrorise people into silence and in attempting that all norms of decency have been violated,” he said.
Mufti said thousands of youth have been framed in false cases and currently a fresh wave of arrests has seen hundreds more in jails including teenaged children. He said there were reports that parents were being arrested and tortured to ensure ‘good conduct of their sons’. The use of cruel methods of crowd control had resulted in hundreds getting affected seriously. “This government has apart from demonising an entire generation of youth created a new industry of crowd control which is exclusive to J&K. In other parts of the country governments are taken to task for minor aberrations of law and order machinery but is our state pepper bombs and pellet guns are projected as a mercy because they don’t kill instantly,” Mufti said.
“Removal of AFSPA and complete restoration of democratic institutions and spirit are the first essential steps in resolution of the problem,” he stressed.