A day after Army Chief General VK Singh spoke against lifting the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Kashmir, moderate All Parties Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq expressed anguish on Friday and asked New Delhi to take necessary measure to restart composite dialogue on the Kashmir problem.
Speaking at a congregation at historic Jama Masjid in Srinagar, Mirsaid said, “It’s unfortunate that Indian Army Chief has opposed lifting of the AFSPA in Jammu and Kashmir…This show India, which is intoxicated by power, want to impose their writ against the aspiration of people here through suppression and use of power,” said the Mirwaiz, who is also a head priest of the state.
Hardening his tone, Mirwaiz accused New Delhi of not taking any positive step to create conducive atmosphere for the resolution of the Kashmir issue.
“Any dialogue process will not yield results till unbridled powers given to security forces through black laws are not withdrawn…unfortunately no steps are being taken by New Delhi to provide some kind of relief to people of the state,” said Mirwaiz.
The AHPC chairman asked New Delhi to see new realities emerging on the international forums viz-a-viz Kashmir and “take steps as soon as possible to pave a way for the resolution of the issue.”
Mirwaiz warned that “if the unbridled powers to the security forces are not snatched and basic human rights respected in the state, it will have far reaching consequences”.
On Thursday, the Army Chief in an interview to Sainik Samachar, the Defence Ministry's official fortnightly, has said “any dilution of the AFSPA will impinge adversely on the manner in which the armed forces operate in Jammu and Kashmir and North East.
Singh said while operating against terrorists, insurgents and anti-national elements in constrained and trying circumstances, the armed forces need requisite legal protection.