BJP national executive member and J&K chief spokesperson Jitendra Singh has asked the National Conference (NC)-Congress government in Jammu & Kashmir to clarify its stand on the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and come out unambiguously as to whether, in the wake of a series of terror attacks in the past few days, members of the coalition ministry still continue to endorse their chief minister's obsessive demand for what he describes as "partial" revocation of AFSPA from districts like Samba, Jammu and Srinagar, which have repeatedly been the targets of these attacks.
He said the Congress party owes an explanation on another account also because its ministers have been publicly supporting continuance of AFSPA, but maintaining a convenient silence when they sit in the cabinet meetings with the CM.
Singh said the events of past one week have evidently exposed that the demand for revocation of AFSPA is baseless on strategic understanding of the prevailing scenario and more on the expediency to seek one-upmanship in competitive Kashmir-centric politics, which becomes more and more acute as the election time draws closer.
Singh explained that AFSPA offers a protective mechanism to security forces to defend themselves against a terror attack and also confers certain special powers to them to apprehend a terrorist on the run.
Ridiculing the suggestion for "partial" revocation of AFSPA, he said this was a strategically fallacious proposition. "For example, the areas that resultantly do not come under the purview of AFSPA are likely to be used by terrorists and their sponsors to recoup and re-launch operations," he elaborated.
"Politically also, an action of this nature is fraught with ramifications since partial revocation of AFSPA from some areas or districts may trigger a chain reaction of politically motivated demands for similar partial revocation of AFSPA from other areas as well," he added.
Another issue deserving cognisance is the situation evolving India's neighbourhood, said Jitendra Singh and explained that it would be risky to ignore the prospect of Pak-sponsored re-engineering of terrorism in J&K following withdrawal of US from Afghanistan next year.
Singh appealed to the chief minister to go by objective reasoning and rationale instead of falling prey to the self-defeating trap of competitive separatist-centric up-manship.