AFSPA revocation: Promise made in view of polls, says Omar; ‘better late than never,’ says Mehbooba

Amit Shah said government will consider revoking AFSPA in J&K

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti and National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti and National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah

National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah said on Wednesday that the promise of revoking the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) from Jammu and Kashmir has been made in view of the upcoming Lok Sabha polls as he feared that the people here would be cheated just like those in Ladakh were on the promise of the Sixth Schedule.

He was reacting to local media reports that quoted Union Home Minister Amit Shah as saying that the BJP-led Centre will surely consider revoking the AFSPA from Jammu and Kashmir in the future.

"I am waiting for this day since 2011. We made a lot of efforts to remove the AFSPA (when he was the chief minister) as well, but I fear that the people of Jammu and Kashmir will be misled and cheated like the people of Ladakh were misled and cheated on the promise of the Sixth Schedule as elections are here," Abdullah told reporters in Budgam district.

The former Union minister said the law, which gives widespread powers and immunity against prosecution to security forces in disturbed areas, should be revoked right away in view of the statements made by central leaders about restoration of normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir.

"As far as revoking the AFSPA is concerned, start from today. When they say the situation is normal and militancy has ended and there is no separatist thought left, then what are they waiting for?" he asked.

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday welcomed the home minister's statement but hoped it would not be a "Jumelbaazi" like the BJP promise of providing two crore jobs in the country every year.

As a first step, the Central government can release journalists and Kashmiris languishing in jail "without any charges", she said.

"PDP has consistently demanded the revocation of draconian AFSPA along with a gradual removal of troops. It also formulated an important part of our Agenda of Alliance wholeheartedly agreed upon by BJP. Der aayee durust aaye. Better late than never but only if it isn't jumlebaazi like generating two crore jobs every year or empty promises of depositing 15 lacs into bank accounts," she said in a post on X.

Shah on Tuesday said the central government will consider revoking the AFSPA in Jammu and Kashmir.

In an interview with the JK Media Group, Shah also said the government has plans to pull back troops in the Union Territory (UT) and leave law and order to the Jammu and Kashmir Police alone.

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