The People's Democratic Party (PDP) said the continued use of a law of emergency nature, like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), is against the letter and spirit of the Constitution and amounts to denial of fundamental rights to life and liberty enshrined in it.
"Removal of the
AFSPA and complete restoration of democratic institutions and spirit are the first essential steps in resolution of the problem," he stressed.
Reiterating his party's stand on the revocation of the special law, party patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Sunday said the very claim of our country to a democratic system suffered a blow when the people of an entire state were denied fundamental rights on the pretext of security.
Mufti said he had been advocating the revocation of AFSPA since 2007 when the prime minister had on his suggestion had appointed a high-powered committee to examine the issue.
The former chief minister said continuing the law in the changed circumstances when the militancy was substantially reduced and people had overwhelmingly participated in the democratic process is a hurdle in complete normalcy and a set back to peace process.
"J&K cannot be eternally governed through black laws if the region has to come out of its painful history of discord and destabilization," Mufti said.
He further said while it was undeniable that the Kashmir issue had to be resolved amicably to achieve lasting peace, the reversal of that process after the present government took over was partly the result of oppression and misgovernance inflicted on people.
He said the level of disaffection among the people only rose during the last four years and the arrogant attitude of government added fuel to the fires caused by a series of atrocities committed by its forces.
Terming the latest suggestion of using Army in controlling unrest among people as a serious setback to process of normalisation, Mufti said any civilian government having to resort to it was not worth the representative character it claimed. "Can there be a more profound evidence of a government's failure," he asked.
Mufti said the government was trying to terrorise people into silence and in attempting that all norms of decency have been violated.
"This government has apart from demonising an entire generation of youth created a new industry of crowd control which is exclusive to J&K. In other parts of the country, governments are taken to task for minor aberrations of law and order machinery but is our state pepper bombs and pellet guns are projected as a mercy because they don't kill instantly," Mufti said.
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