J&K forms panels for withdrawal of AFSPA

J&K forms panels for withdrawal of AFSPA

The Jammu and Kashmir government said on Monday that it has constituted two committees to examine the issue of phased withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from “peaceful areas” in the state.

The Army maintains that the terror infrastructure across the Line of Control (LoC) was still intact and time was not ripe for revocation of the AFSPA, which gives sweeping powers to the security forces, from the state.

Minister of State for Home Sajad Ahmad Kichloo informed the Legislative Council in Jammu that the state government had constituted one committee for the Kashmir province and another for the Jammu Province to examine the issue of revocation of AFSPA from districts that had witnessed significant decrease in militancy-related activities and seen sustained peace.

He said several districts, especially in the Jammu province, had witnessed sustained peace and normalisation. “Once the committee submits its report to the state government, the matter will be discussed and taken up for consultation with the Union government,” he said.

The minister said there was no question of removing the Act from those districts where militancy prevailed and had influence.

Since 2011 when Chief Minister Omar Abdullah announced that the controversial Act would be revoked partially, the Army had been maintaining the time “is not right” for its removal and any decision on this “should not be politicised.”