Ansari bats for Omar on AFSPA removal | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Ansari bats for Omar on AFSPA removal

delhi Updated: Nov 11, 2011 00:04 IST
Aloke Tikku

A key central interlocutor for Jammu and Kashmir, Professor MM Ansari, on Thursday stood up for J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah, who wants to lift the army's protective legal shield from areas where they do not operate.

The army insists that the peace was "very fragile" and terrorists would exploit the situation in parts from where it will be lifted.

"It is not enough to say that the security forces would be demoralised... and what about the people," said Ansari, who along with journalist Dileep Padgaonkar and academic Radha Kumar, spent most of the last one year listening to people from across the state.

If the government does not give incentives to people for keeping peace, the trust deficit will grow, he said.

The army is resisting the CM's plan to lift the Armed Forces Special Powers Act from the districts where the army does not operate.

Ajai Sahni of New Delhi's Institute for Conflict Management said the army had the right to make its point but the government would, and should have the last word.

Sahni, who believes AFSPA is a good law often badly implemented, said the essential question that needed to be addressed was if the state wanted the army in the four districts.

If the army is not required to operate in these areas and the residual threat from terrorists was manageable, the chief minister could go right ahead, he said, describing the army's resistance to security forces not trusting their counterparts in other forces of doing a good job.