Chief Minister Omar Addresses Army’s Concern Over AFSPA

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Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Saturday said there was “ample scope” to go-ahead with proposed partial withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act from certain areas in Jammu and Kashmir while addressing the concerns of the Army.

“I believe there is ample scope for us to go ahead with what we have decided to do while at the same time addressing concerns that the Army has brought forward,” Omar told reporters on the sidelines of a function.

“Beyond that I am not going to say anything,” he added according to PBI correspondent.

Earlier this week, the Chief Minister held a series of deliberations in New Delhi. In attendence were Army chief Gen V K Singh, the Chief Minister had interaction with leaders including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Home Minister P Chidambaram, Finance Minister Pranab Mukharjee and defence minister A K Antony.

The discussions, Omar had said, were aimed to “narrow down the difference between what we would like to see happening and what the army is so far as publicly stated as comfortable to let happen.”

“I believe that there is ample opportunity to address both the concerns that the armed forces have while still allowing us to go ahead with the position that we have taken which is keeping with what the Cabinet Committee on Security recommended almost a year ago,” he said.

Syed Irfan Aziz, from Sopore, a small town in North Kashmir, India, is currently Executive Editor of the Daily English newspaper INSIDE KASHMIR and is a freelance News Producer in electronic media.