J&K parties hope HM's AFSPA pledge is not 'false'

Regional political parties in Kashmir on Wednesday expressed scepticism over Union home minister Amit Shah‘s assertion that the Centre is considering revocation of the Afspa in Jammu and Kashmir, stating that it should not end up as just another “false promise” made ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

Former chief minister of J&K Omar Abdullah said that if the BJP-led central government claims that militancy has ended and the separatist ideology is not present on ground anymore, then what is the central government waiting for. “They say that the situation in J&K was never better than this. Then what are they waiting for? They should have done this (revoked Afspa) already,” Abdullah told reporters on the sidelines of an event here. “I have strived to revoke Afspa since 2011 and I have been waiting for this day since then,” said the National Conference leader.

Abdullah expressed concerns that Shah’s statement could be misleading in the wake of upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

In a recent interview, Shah had said that the central government will consider revoking the Afspa in J&K and the government has plans to pull back troops in the UT and leave law and order to the J&K police alone.

Responding to the home minister’s statement, People’s Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti said that her party has consistently demanded the revocation of draconian Afspa along with a gradual removal of troops. PDP also formulated it as an important part of the Agenda of Alliance, wholeheartedly agreed upon by BJP during the coalition government with PDP in J&K from 2015- 2018.

William Murphy

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