Time ripe for AFSPA repeal: Soz
Srinagar, May 27: Asking Hurriyat leaders to come forward and talk to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh scheduled to visit Kashmir next month, J&K Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) chief Saif u Din Soz Monday said time was right for revocation of controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). “I think there is a consensus on AFSPA. In my personal opinion and as a head of State Congress, I believe that AFSPA should be lifted from few places in Jammu and Kashmir,” Soz told reporters here today. Maintaining that there is no need for a public debate on the issue, he said, “Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who heads the Unified Command, should raise it for debate in Unified command meet. However, one cannot create a public debate on AFSPA and it will never be helpful.”“My understanding is that AFSPA is a central law and has to go at some point of time,” Soz said. He said the issues like AFSPA should not be used for political purposes. “AFSPA was needed at one point of time but it has fufilled its purpose and should be lifted from some peaceful areas”.
Referring to Public Safety Act, Soz said, “State laws like PSA need amendments. There are some controversial provisions in this law, which have hurt the public sentiment. Our own lawmakers have made this law and we can amend it on our own”. Referring to Delhi Hurriyat talks, he said Hurriyat should start talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Sigh, who is scheduled to visit Kashmir next month. “The doors of dialogue are open and Hurriyat should hold talks with PM. Talks only will lead to the political stability and the dialogue process will also be strengthened,” he said.He asserted that dialogue is only solution. “As a Kashmiri, I invite Hurriyat leaders to talk to PM”.