Lift AFSPA If There is Peace in Kashmir

Srinagar, Oct 31: Indian minister and senior pro-Indian Kashmiri leader Farooq Abdullah Monday asked the Indian government to lift the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from the region if there is peace.

“If you see the people’s opinion across India, there is a massive opinion that this law (AFSPA – which gives impunity to Indian soldiers for their acts in Kashmir) is not required. Various components involved in it should sit together and honestly think over it and slowly lift this law for the betterment of people,” Farooq Abdullah told the media here today.

Farooq, who is father of Kashmir’s chief Minister Omar Abdullah, expressed hope that various stakeholders including the Army and the Kashmir government will sit together to discuss the issue and take a collective decision on it.

“Lift this law if there is peace and if there is no peace then it should be declared as such. If there is peace, it needs to be taken forward and AFSPA should be revoked from the areas where it is not required,” he said.

Meanwhile, senior leftist Indian woman leader Brinda Karat has supported Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on the need to partially withdraw AFSPA from some parts of the region.

“AFSPA should be withdrawn where areas are not disturbed in Kashmir. Instead, a fresh legislation should be introduced which will give the Army rights to intervene,” Brinda told reporters in the Indian capital.

The chief minister of Kashmir Omar Abdullah had recently announced that AFSPA would be removed from the peaceful areas of the region soon. However, the statement had not gone well with India’s defence ministry, who are opposing the revocation of AFSPA.