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AFSPA would be revoked gradually: Mufti
3/23/2015 11:51:23 PM
Early Times Report

Jammu, Mar 23: Amid twin terror attacks in Samba and Kathua, Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today called for making security forces including the Army accountable and reiterated to initiate a gradual process of removing the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from some areas of the State.
He said this while winding up discussions on Motion of Thanks to the Governor's Address in the Legislative Council today. Mufti said that there are some reservations from Defence Ministry side but we will try to start the gradual withdrawal of AFSPA from some areas of Jammu and Kashmir," Mufti referred to his recent conversation with the GOC-in-C Northern Command Lt Gen D.S.Hooda and said "I told him that you have to ensure that the Army must follows standard operating procedure." Mufti also referred recent killing of two youth in Budgam district and another fake encounter at Machail in which action has been taken against those who were responsible for killing innocent civilians. He further said that these examples have to become routine.
"Keeping in view the improving security scenario, the state government will examine the need for de-notifying 'disturbed areas which have been free from militancy-related incidents for quite some time and that would be after taking all the stakeholders on board',," Sayeed said. Mufti further said that if India has to become a global power, it has to engage with its neighbours, including Pakistan.
"If we want to make India a great country, the only bottleneck is Pakistan, which is also facing problem of extremism. To make India great you will have to engage with your neighbouring SAARC and Pakistan (In dialogue process)," Mufti said. Repeating his address which he had delivered on the floor of the Assembly on Friday evening, Mufti reminded the steps taken by former Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajapyee to improve relations with Pakistan. He also recalled how the then Union Home Minister had engaged Hurriyat leadership in dialogue process.
Describing the new Government in J&K as a model of unity in diversity, the Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today said that it is in the State's interest to partner with a strong Centre to put J&K firmly on the path of peace, development and self-reliance.
Mufti said the new Government has been given a rare opportunity by the people to provide a smart and transparent government in collaboration with the strong NDA Government at the Centre. "Our Common Minimum Programme is in the public domain.
We will fulfil wishes and aspirations of all the people, for which we need an enabling atmosphere that promotes peace in the region," said the Chief Minister.
Emphasizing on protecting the special status of J&K as it gives the people of the State a unique place in the country, the Chief Minister said, "The peace-loving people of the State rejected the Two-Nation Theory and acceded to India, which gave it a special place in its Constitution." He said the people living in all the three regions of the State should cherish this unique position that has been given to them.
Highlighting the failure of the previous Government in holding civic body elections, the Chief Minister said the State will adopt the best possible Panchayati Raj System of the country in the State to empower people at the grassroots level. "My Government will work to make Jammu and Srinagar Mega Cities for which liberal funding will be availed from the Centre." he stated.
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