Rajnath’s Statement on AFSPA ‘Unfortunate’: NC

SRINAGAR: Opposition National Conference termed the statement of Union Home Minister on the revocation of AFSPA in Jammu and Kashmir as “unfortunate and counter-productive”, saying such remarks also exposed ruling PDP’s “complete and total sell-out” to the BJP for the sole aim of coming to power in the state.

“Such remarks expose PDP’s complete and total sell-out to the BJP for the sole aim of coming to power in J&K. The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s statement is unfortunate and counter-productive,” NC general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar said.

“Both PDP and BJP had pledged to pave way for the revocation of AFSPA in their ‘Agenda of the Alliance’ – which was marketed as the Common Minimum Program (CMP) between the two parties,” he said said.

Singh today said the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) will be revoked from the state when the situation is conducive for it.

Revocation of the AFSPA is part of the ‘Agenda of Alliance’ – the common minimum programme on which the PDP formed government with the BJP in Jammu and Kashmir.

Sagar said this was another “successive U-turn” enacted by Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed-led PDP-BJP Government.

“Sayeed tried to create many moral smokescreens ahead of formally forging PDP’s previously informal alliance with the BJP. One such moral smokescreen was PDP’s alleged ‘condition’ of getting AFSPA revoked – which is explicitly mentioned in their alleged ‘CMP’,” he said.

“It has now become evident that this was a lie that was propagated to fool the people into believing that this alliance had apparent ideological bearings. This alliance was cobbled up for the sole and singular aim of power and PDP’s sell-out has put the State’s interests – including the humanitarian demand for the revocation of AFSPA on the back-burner, which is extremely condemnable and unforgivable,” he added. 

The NC general secretary also lamented that Union Home Minister had closed all doors for dialogue with the separatist leaders.

“It is also highly unfortunate that Union Home Minister has closed the doors to dialogue with the separatists as was promised to the people of this State in the CMP between the two parties. The much touted ‘Battle of Ideas’ slogan has also now turned out to be a complete farce.

“What ‘Battle of Ideas’ is this where the doors to dialogue have been shut and sealed – paving way for a status-quo and uncertainty?” he said.

The Union Minister said the Centre had no plans to hold talks with separatist groups in the state.

“We have no proposal to hold talks with the separatists in Jammu and Kashmir. We are ready to listen (and) talk to anyone but anti-national activities should be opposed and boycotted,” he said.

Sagar said NC has always advocated that New Delhi should talk to the separatists and has maintained that the separatists should also engage in sustained talks with the Centre.

“This is perhaps for the first time in the past decade when the doors to dialogue have been sealed shut in an arbitrary, brash manner as this. This clearly does not auger well for peace and stability in the State,” he said.

“The Chief Minister has not spoken a word about AFSPA revocation or dialogue with separatists since coming to power in the face of repeated refusals from the Central Government and BJP within the State to agree on these issues,” Sagar said.

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