A decision on the lifting of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from some areas of Jammu and Kashmir will be taken in the coming months, said chief minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday.
Abdullah was addressing the media on the sidelines of a function organised to mark the third anniversary of his tenure as CM. He said, “The AFSPA issue has not been put on the backburner. Discussions are being held at the state level between civil and security forces and consultations are also on with the central government on the issue.”
Abdullah, who assumed office on January 5, 2009, had announced in October last year that his government was thinking of revoking the AFSPA from certain parts of the state. However, soon after he faced opposition from the Army as well as from within his own government.
On Thursday, Abdullah asserted that the demand for partial withdrawal of AFSPA was rightful and based on logic.
On the recent incident of firing by Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel in which a protester, Altaf Ahmed Sood, was killed in northern Kashmir’s Uri town, Abdullah said a magisterial probe has been ordered.
“After completion of the inquiry, we will approach the central government for action against them and I am hopeful they will listen to our demand,” Abdullah said. Summing up his journey so far he said, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
Abdullah said he was open to the idea of campaigning for the Congress in Uttar Pradesh for the upcoming polls. “If I am asked, I will have no hesitation in campaigning for the Congress and the UPA,” Abdullah said.