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PDP wants revocation of special powers of security forces

PDP President Mehbooba Mufti calls for immediate and complete cessation of hostilities in Jammu and Kashmir.

india Updated: Feb 05, 2007 20:31 IST

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President and Member Parliament, Mehbooba Mufti has called for immediate and complete cessation of hostilities in Jammu and Kashmir to prevent further destruction of life and property in the State, which has suffered enormously because of the turmoil.

"We have suffered immensely and this trauma must end now," Mufti said at a public meeting in Manjakote, Rajouri. She said the "violence has left behind traumatised orphans, widows and destitute and with every killing the number of such hapless children, mothers, widows and sisters is growing. She said all the sides having armed involvement in Jammu and Kashmir must facilitate in ending the gun culture to ensure the safety of the common and poor people. It is the poor people who suffer the most in such situations as the rich have several safeguards," she said and added that even in the recent fake encounters the victims have turned out to be the poorest of the poor, who were earning their livelihood through tedious labour away from their homes.

To make the peace and reconciliation process workable, Mehbooba said it is imperative that it must show results on the ground. "On the ground I mean in Jammu and Kashmir and not in Islamabad or New Delhi," she said and added that the confidence building and reconciliatory measures shall have no meaning unless these are complimented with visible improvement in the State's security scenario so that the common people identify themselves with the process. She said both New Delhi and Islamabad must take solid measures to bring down the level of violence within the State and give Kashmiris the time to rebuild their shattered lives.

"Unfortunately all the Indo-Pak confidence building measures have remained symbolic in nature as far as the ground situation in Jammu and Kashmir is concerned as it has not given any relief in violence within the State," she said and made a passionate plea to both the countries to make peace within Jammu and Kashmir also as has been done along the line of control and the borders.

Referring to the recent statement of Pakistan President General Parvez Musharraf denouncing violence, Mehbooba Mufti said Pakistan must also use its influence over the warring groups to put an end to the vicious circle of violence in the State that has unfortunately turned into a commercial business now. "Militants must also realise that Kashmiris have suffered enormously because of the gun and peaceful resolution process must be given a chance," she said.

Addressing the meeting senior PDP leader, Ghulam Hassan Mir reiterated the party's demand for revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) as an intra-Kashmir confidence building measure.

He said there is an urgent need to restore the public confidence and it could be done only through such concrete measures. He also stressed the need for initiating a comprehensive welfare scheme for the victims of violence.