AFSPA promise misleading, govt can’t even ensure free movement of Kashmiris: Omar : The Tribune India

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AFSPA promise misleading, govt can’t even ensure free movement of Kashmiris: Omar

AFSPA promise misleading, govt can’t even ensure free movement of Kashmiris: Omar

Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and other NC leaders during a meeting in Sopore on Thursday. Tribune photo



Our Correspondent

Srinagar, March 28

Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said former Army Chief General VK Singh sabotaged his efforts to remove the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from Jammu and Kashmir. Ridiculing Home Minister Amit Shah’s statement that the Centre was considering the removal of AFSPA, Omar said the Act’s revocation was a distant dream and that the Centre should first ensure that Kashmiris are allowed to walk on highways without facing Army batons.

“For the past decade, the BJP has been in power. Now, they have suddenly remembered AFSPA. I’ve been asking for its removal since 2011,” the NC leader said.

He added that it was General VK Singh who opposed his government’s efforts to repeal AFSPA from J&K. “He was the Chief of the Army when I was the Chief Minister. Ask him why he thwarted our attempts. Ask him why he sabotaged it. Why did he say the Army wouldn’t accept it?” Omar said.

“Today, they are misleading people by promising to remove AFSPA. However, they refuse to go beyond AFSPA and cannot even ensure easy travel on highways for us. They impede our movement,” Omar said.

“Hundreds of Kashmiris have been unjustly detained in different states. Even the offspring of separatists face persecution,” he added.

Citing the example of the largest fruit mandi in Asia situated in Sopore, he emphasised its dismal condition. “The Kashmiri economy has endured significant harm under this administration,” Omar said. He highlighted how government policies had “devastated the apple economy”, with exorbitant duty fees imposed on apples from other countries, consequently impacting the market for Kashmiri apples.

Without naming Peoples Conference chief Sajad Lone, he attacked the latter by saying that those who refer to the PM as their elder brother should have approached him to address the issue.

In November 2014, Lone had met PM Modi at his residence and said: “Modi was so large hearted that it was tough to say whether I was meeting PM of India or my elder brother.”

‘VK Singh thwarted revocation of act’

It was General VK Singh who opposed my government’s efforts to repeal AFSPA from J&K. He was the Chief of the Army when I was the Chief Minister. Ask him why he thwarted our attempts. Ask him why he sabotaged the efforts. Why did he say that the Army would not accept it? — Omar Abdullah, NC leader

#Amit Shah #Jammu #Kashmir #Omar Abdullah #Srinagar



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