Chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday lashed out at Pakistan for instigating youths in Kashmir to take up arms, at the same time asking the Centre to revoke the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (Afspa) on a trial basis to “win” the hearts of locals.
“Today when a Kashmiri child takes up gun, they (Pakistan) call him leader and say he is doing good, but when their own children, some from madrassas etc., take up gun, they attack them with drones and hang them in military courts,” Mehbooba said as she called on Pakistan to change its policy.
The Jammu and Kashmir chief minister was speaking on a day she met Union home minister Rajnath Singh who took stock of situation in the Valley where 48 people died and over 5,000 civilians and security personnel were injured in clashes following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.
“Pakistan says that we are victims of terror, their 146 children died in school attack in single day and people fear to go inside their mosques,” Mehbooba said, adding that there was a need to take “bold measures to address the issue as the people of Jammu and Kashmir were our own”.
Part of that could be the revocation of Afspa in some areas, beginning with 25 to 50 police stations, as an experiment.
“As far as Afspa is concerned, we were not saying that it should be revoked in one go. But, as a test case, on experimental basis, if it is revoked slowly and it can be seen how the situation remained in such areas. If the situation remained well, then it should be revoked entirely or it can be reimplemented,” she said, indicating there had to be a start somewhere.
The controversial Armed Forces Special Forces Act gives immunity from prosecution and other legal proceedings to the armed forces and Peoples Democratic Party and opposition National Conference have been demanding its revocation.
Mehbooba said her father Mufti Mohammed Sayeed took two month to forge an alliance with the BJP and made an agenda of alliance to show a way to take J-K “out of the morass and that cannot be done only by money or packages”.
“I hope the Home Minister, whose statement in the Parliament was very good, he tried to reach out to the people of J-K, that has not been missed here,” she added.