AFSPA has to continue in J&K : Ex-General

AFSPA has to continue in J&K : Ex-General

Former chief of the army staff, General (Retd) O P Malhotra, on Saturday said that though peace had returned to Kashmir, the situation was still not conducive for the revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the state.

“The AFSPA has to continue till Pakistan stops sending infiltrators from across the border. My opinion is that when there is complete calm in Kashmir, then only AFSPA should go,” Gen Malhotra said during an interaction with the students of S P College here.

Gen Malhotra, who was the first and the last Kashmiri to reach the rank of Army chief, said that he was happy to see the heavy influx of tourists in the state. “I was told by GOC 15-Corps, Lt Gen S A Hasnain that the Army is trying its best to win the hearts of the people. ,” he added.

The Army has opposed partial revocation of the Act and contended that such an act would lead to the emergence safe havens for the terrorists, ever since Chief Minister Omar Abdullah first raised the issue  in October last year.

The former Army chief, who is alma mater of the S P College, said that he was elated to interact with the students of the college.

Gen Malhotra served as the Governor of Punjab when militancy in that state was at its height, in 1990-1991 period. He resigned when the Central government refused to hold elections in the state.

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