Independent legislator Engineer Rasheed on Tuesday asked separatists and mainstream political parties to join hands to push for the removal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and the Public Safety Act (PSA).
Announcing his campaign to work on the consensus among various political shades during a press conference here, Rasheed said, "All political parties, separatists and mainstream, constantly point out that the AFSPA gives security forces a licence to kill. In spite of Geelani sahib, Omar Abdullah (chief minister), Mirwaiz (Umar Farooq) and Mufti Mohammad Sayeed have been advocating for the revocation but New Delhi did not bother to consider the genuine demand."
Rasheed blamed the Jammu and Kashmir government for using the PSA as a tool "to suppress voices".
"The PSA has become a tool in the hands of the police and other agencies to stop Kashmiris from raising their voice," he alleged.
Calling upon separatists and mainstream leaders to join hands, the legislator from north Kashmir's Langate constituency said, "It is high time for the Kashmiri leaders to stop cold-blooded murders, innocent killings, save honour and prestige by forcing New Delhi to repeal the AFSPA and have a consensus to compel the state government to get the PSA abolished."
The MLA claimed that he had already communicated to several political parties and individuals, including Omar Abdullah and Mufti Sayeed, and sought an appointment with them to frame a joint strategy. "We will again knock the doors of the mainstream and separatist politicians and request them to reach a joint strategy for the removal of these laws," he said.
Rasheed, who heads the newly-floated Awami Itehad Party, said his outfit would soon write letters to political parties and leaders.
The MLA was flanked by the party state secretary Tanveer Hussain Khan, spokesperson Showkat Nadvi and Srinagar district president Zeeshan Pandith at the press meet.