Moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Thursday described the Tripura government's decision to withdraw Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) as "bold decision."
"After remaining enforced for 18 years, the Tripura government has revoked AFSPA. It has become clear that draconian laws like AFSPA are the weapons of oppression and atrocity with the state and its implementation is purely aimed to brutalize the people," said the moderate Hurriyat spokesman.
Asking the Jammu and Kashmir rulers to follow the Tripura government, the spokesman said, "The revocation should serve as an eye opener for the Jammu and Kashmir ruling class, which makes loud claims about the revocation of this draconian law from Kashmir, but in reality has no interest or intention to do so."
Controversial AFSPA provides sweeping powers and a certain degree of impunity to the armed forces to carry counter-insurgency operations in militancy-hit areas.
"AFSPA has become the cause of innocent killings and widespread human rights violations in Kashmir. This law gives licence to Indian troops to kill people at will," the Mirwaiz alleged.
AFSPA remains in vogue in Jammu and Kashmir since 1990 and faced criticism from political quarters too. Regional parties -- National Conference and ruling Peoples Democratic Party have been demanding phased revocation of the Act from peaceful areas.
Former chief minister Omar Abdullah, however, failed to make any headway on the issue following an opposition from the army. The present dispensation of the BJP-PDP promised in the Agenda of Alliance to review the Disturbed Areas Act and phased revocation of AFSPA.
Meanwhile, the Hurriyat has welcomed the statement of Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) secretary general Ayad bin Madni during his opening statement at the 42nd session of the OIC council of foreign ministers at Kuwait.
The OIC referred to Kashmir as "dispute" and sought its resolution through "meaningful dialogue between all the stakeholders."