Complete peace must for AFSPA repeal: Officials

March 24th, 2011 - 10:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Jammu, March 24 (IANS) The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) will stay in Jammu and Kashmir until the return of complete peace in the state, officials said Thursday.

Despite a mounting campaign by both political groups and separatists in Kashmir, the government consulted the army and paramilitary forces before a final decision is taken on the revocation of the law that grants immunity to the security forces during anti-insurgency operations.

According to official sources, the army has put its foot down and so have the paramilitary forces.

With this, the government, that was pitching for the removal of the special powers in a gradual manner, is re-thinking the move as it doesn’t want any confrontation with the security forces at a time when the militants have resurfaced in some of the areas in the Valley and infiltration from Pakistan-administered Kashmir is a real threat.

The sources said the state government’s attitude could be seen in Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s speech in the state assembly Wednesday when he said that measures like the recall of the special powers and reduction of troops could be considered only when there is a “return of peace in the state”.

The central government too had advised the state to adopt a “wait and watch approach”, rather than push for the revocation of the AFSPA, they added.

The AFSPA was invoked in Jammu and Kashmir in 1990, soon after the outbreak of militancy.

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