Unified command to meet soon on AFSPA: Omar | india | Hindustan Times
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Unified command to meet soon on AFSPA: Omar

india Updated: Sep 25, 2010 20:23 IST

Welcoming the decisions taken by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) Saturday, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said the Unified Command will meet next week to decide on the withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from some areas of the state.

"The state government does not want to take any unilateral decision. Also, the Army alone cannot get to decide the issue of AFSPA," he told reporters here.

"I am not an irresponsible chief minister to take unilateral decisions," Abdullah said.

Speaking to reporters in New Delhi after the CCS meeting, Home Minister P. Chidmabaram announced that a group of interlocutors will be appointed to hold a dialogue on the Kashmir issue and youths arrested in the recent stone-pelting incidents will be freed soon.

On the AFSPA, Chidambaram said the suggestions have to be first made by the Unified Command. The group comprises senior officers of the army, security forces and police, besides the chief minister and the state home minister.

Abdullah said the footprint of the armed forces and security personnel in the Valley has to be reduced.

Schools and colleges will re-open Monday, he said.

Regarding the interlocutors, the central government made some initial exchange of ideas, he revealed.

The CCS decisions came based on the assessment of the all-party delegation which had recently visited the state following a cycle of violence in the Kashmir valley since June 11. At least 108 people, mostly youths and teenagers have been killed in firing by security forces on stone-pelting street protesters during the past three and a half months.