Cabinet not divided over issue of AFSPA in J&K: Antony
Ahead of a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security on Monday, Defence Minister AK Antony on Sunday maintained that there were no differences in the CCS on the AFSPA in Jammu and Kashmir, but admitted "there may be various points of view". Curfew clamped in Srinagar; FIR lodged against Mirwaizindia Updated: Sep 12, 2010 15:55 IST
Ahead of a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security on Monday, Defence Minister AK Antony on Sunday maintained that there were no differences in the CCS on the AFSPA in Jammu and Kashmir, but admitted "there may be various points of view".
"There are no serious differences in the cabinet. (It is the) same government. When we discuss certain things there may be various points of view. Ultimately, the Government's decision is final," Antony told reporters on the sidelines of a function at Santhigiri Ashram near here.
He was asked to comment on reported differences between the Home and Defence ministries on AFSPA in Kashmir.
Antony's statement assumes significance in the wake of reported differences in the CCS over the partial withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in parts of the Kashmir Valley as part of the Centre's package to break the current impasse in the state.
The Congress Core Group, which met on Friday in New Delhi, also discussed the AFSPA issue.
The Defence Minister described the reports about differences in cabinet as "imaginary".
"Continuing tension in Kashmir is causing concern to all. The Cabinet Committee on Security will discuss the situation in Kashmir seriously," he said.
The Defence Ministry is said to be opposed to the partial withdrawal of the AFPSA in the state or any other kind of dilution in the controversial act which gives sweeping powers to security forces.
When pressed for his comments on reports of serious differences, Antony said: "We don't debate in public matters discussed in the CCS. The reports regarding differences in media over AFSPA are imaginary."
"I am not for any public debate on this matter... anyway the CCS is going to discuss the matter tomorrow."
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has been pressing the Centre to withdraw the AFSPA from some areas of the state and announce some political initiatives.