Mehbooba corners Omar over AFSPA revocation rhetoric

Opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti Sunday said having unceremoniously dumped his rhetorical AFSPA revocation demand, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was now trying to blame everybody except himself for his ‘countless failures and follies.’

Reacting to Omar’s assertions that both his coalition partner Congress and opposition PDP did not support him in his endeavour to get controversial AFSPA revoked, she said, “Let Omar come up with a single communication, he has made with the Government of India during the past six years for revocation of the controversial law. He must know that the governments don’t function through rhetoric and verbal acrobatics, but call for tangible action.”

“Unfortunately, Omar’s wavering stance on crucial issues during the past six years has reduced the CM’s post to a mockery,” she said while addressing an election rally in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district.

The PDP MP claimed it was only on the persuasion of her father and Party patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, through a series of communications with the then Prime Minister, that in June 2007 a committee headed by the Defence Minister was constituted to undertake a holistic review of the controversial law.

“However, due to lack of follow-up by the successive governments in the State, no headway could be made on the issue,” she said,” she added.

The firebrand PDP president said Omar had announced revocation of AFSPA “within two or three days” on 21 October 2011, in the aftermath of “(NC worker) Haji Yousuf’s death in suspicious circumstances.”

“After that, the Chief Minister has been regularly diluting his stand on this important issue. While on that day (October 21), he claimed that AFSPA will be revoked within two days, then he said he will revoke the law after Durbar move,” she said.

“Omar later stated that the law shall be revoked in his tenure and then he said it has become his life time mission,” she said.

“As the chief minister, Omar was always well within his powers to revoke AFSPA in Jammu and Kashmir. All he had to do was to withdraw the Disturbed Areas Act, the AFSPA would have automatically gone,” Mehbooba said.

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