Omar says he is helpless over AFSPA

Expressing his helplessness to get the Centre revoke the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from the state in the near future, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Monday said the act would be revoked one day and work has been going full swing towards that end.

Addressing the media at the Civil Secretariat in Jammu, to mark the reopening of government offices in the winter capital following a six-moth winter sojourn, Abdullah said:  “AFSPA will go. But when, I cannot tell, for no deadline has been set at this stage.”
Ever since Abdullah raised the issue last October, The Army has opposed partial revocation of the Act and contended that it would help terrorists build save havens in the state.

On the recent threat call by Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir based United Jihad Council chairman and the Hizbul Mujahideen chief, Syed Salah-ud-Din to panchayat members, the Chief Minister said, “I do not know why he (Salah-ud-Din) has now jumped suddenly on this bandwagon of issuing the threat. The government has geared up to deal with any eventuality.”

However, Abdullah ruled out providing security cover to panchayat members individually.

“In most parts of the state there is no threat to any panch or sarpanch from militants.

Most areas in Jammu region are free of militancy and in Kashmir Valley where some areas face militant threat, the Central and state intelligence agencies are making on the spot assessment of the threat perception,” he said and added government will take action accordingly. The JUC chairman had recently said that panches and sarpanches were exploited by India to project Kashmir as pro-India, and as such, “they will continue to be targeted. No matter how much the government tries to secure them, they will still be attacked.”

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister expressed gratitude to people for “positively helping the government in the maintenance of peace and amity in the State.”

“Some people do not want peace to root and normalcy rule the roast. They try to disturb the tranquility in the name of region, religion, caste and creed and create wedge between various regions,” he said asking for continued public support to foil the wicked designs to disturb peace in the state and creating hatred between various sections of the society.

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