PDP Patron Mufti Mohammed Sayeed Says ‘Revocation of AFSPA Inevitable’

Srinagar: Describing the revocation of laws like AFSPA and Disturbed Areas Act as inevitable PDP Patron Mufti Mohammed Sayeed today said these stringent and exceptional measures were unsustainable in view of the vastly changed internal scenario in the state and the visible signs of improvement in relation between India and Pakistan.

Addressing party workers of South and North Kashmir today he said “Jammu & Kashmir cannot be denied full democratic rights on the pretext of security. The people of this state have proved that they are the best guarantors of peace and all emergency measures will have to go sooner than later”.

Mufti said AFSPA has outlived its utility and the PDP had pointed this out in 2007 as part of the larger peace process that had been set in motion in 2003. “I had taken in up with the PM and the committee’s were set up at the highest level to review it’, He said. But unfortunately the state government failed to follow up on that in initiative and instead the CM started making cosmetic noises to deflect attention from the huge governance deficit that was pointed out even by the union cabinet last year as a measure reason for inrest in the state.

Mufti said the CM Omar Abdullah had lowered the prestige, position and status of the CM by his ham-handed handling of a sensitive and important issue. He has surrendered the constitutional powers of the state government in the process and has engaged himself in a futile confrontation which is increasingly looking like shadow boxing in order to divert attention from recent exposures of the corruption in the ruling family and the inefficient governance record of the coalition.

He said instead of taking the state legislature into confidence on this issue the CM has turned it into a slanging match between him and the armed forces. He said when it came to implementing or revoking laws the PDP had refused in 2002 to enforce POTA even though the preceding Farooq Abdullah government was the first to apply it anywhere in the country.

Mufti said the Omar Abdullah government had made its intentions clear when it blocked a PDP resolution on revocation AFSPA in the state Assembly. By indulging in shadow boxing now over the issue the government is only trying to cover up its colossal failures. He said the noises made about removal of AFSPA from places like Srinagar, Jammu & Samba made hardly any sense as there was need for removing these laws from those places where atrocities and fake encounters were reported. The PDP he said wants the law completely revoked in line with the democratic character of our country and the changing strategic situation in the region.

Mufti said armed forces have completed their job in very trying circumstances and helped in creating a situation conducive for political activity and democratic functioning. The space reclaimed by the people of the state with the assistance of the government forces has now to be made exclusively available to democratic institutions and civil society as in other parts of the country. The forces will have to be relieved of their duties in civilian space and the democratic institutions fully revived in the state, he said.

However Mufti reminded the government that mere removal of laws like AFSPA could not be a substitute to good governance. The corruption in government and in ruling party, a virtual freeze on development, unemployment among the youth and their persecution through fake police cases and harassment were issues that would not go away without addressing them. He said these issues concerned the daily lived of the people and the PDP would continue to raise them in the most vociferous and effective way using all democratic methods.