Talks with Omar on AFSPA inconclusive: Antony

Talks with Omar on AFSPA inconclusive: Antony

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a defence ministry awards event here, Antony said discussions within the central government and with the state government on the issue were continuing, but refused to fix a time-limit for a decision.

"Yesterday (Sunday), I had a very frank and very friendly discussion with the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir. Discussion was fruitful, but inconclusive," he said in response to a query on the defence ministry's stand on the repeal of AFSPA.

"Discussions will continue. Inside the government also, we are continuing the discussion. That's all," he said.

Asked if a decision will come within this week on the matter, his curt response was "don't put any time limits".

Antony said he had already expressed his opinion on the issue many times. "This being a very, very sensitive issue, let us handle it in a very, very matured and cool manner. I do not want to enter into a public controversy or public debate on this very sensitive issue," he added.

On the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir, the defence minister said it was "much better" now. "But considering the attempts at infiltration from across the border continuing, we have to be careful 24X7," he added.

To another question on setting up a separate cell in the defence ministry for Prisoners of War (PoWs), Antony said over the last many years, successive governments had tried to identify and find out the PoWs, but so far there was no success in these efforts. "We will continue our efforts seriously and sincerely," he added.

 

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