Congress Distances Itself from Soz Remarks On AFSPA

NEW DELHI: The Congress on Wednesday distanced itself from Pradesh Congress lead Saifuddin Soz's demand to repeal the controversial Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA) from the state, while the BJP slammed the veteran leader for his statement.

Embarrassed by the statement of the president of Jammu and Kashmir Congress in an interview to Headlines Today earlier in the day, party's leader Sandeep Dikshit said that the people engaged in the valley's affairs believed that it was not the right time to revoke the Act.

"There have been demands for the repeal of AFSPA. But those engaged in the valley feel this is not the appropriate time to do so. We stand by that view," Dikshit said.

Even the BJP attacked Soz, who had strongly backed Chief Minister Omar Abdullah's demand for the revocation of AFSPA, on his statement that came a day after a youth's killing in Baramulla in alleged firing by security forces.

BJP spokesman Shahnawaz Hussain said, "Saifuddin Soz has done an irresponsible thing by asking for the removal of AFSPA. It is because of this that the Valley has a semblance of peace and safety from the intruders. The BJP is against any move to repeal AFSPA."

The armed forces have time and again opposed withdrawal of AFSPA from the Valley.

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