Thursday, June 13, 2024

My government has authority to revoke AFSPA: Omar


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SRINAGAR: After his tough talk with the Army for withdrawing AFSPA from parts of Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Thursday said his government has the authority to revoke the controversial law and sought a ‘workable’ solution from the Army. “I have the authority. The elected state government of any state has the authority.

In this case (revocation of AFSPA), the authority rests with the governor who would act on the basis of the state government’s recommendations,” Omar said, renewing his bid for lifting the Armed Forces Special Powers Act(AFSPA). Insisting that ‘no’ is not an option for him, the Chief Minister told reporters here that he had sought a “feasible and workable” solution from the Army at yesterday’s Unified Command Headquarters(UHQ) meeting in Jammu.

Omar’s move is facing stiff resistance from the Army. Voicing its apprehensions, the Army is understood to have cautioned that even a partial withdrawal will be detrimental to the security apparatus.

Omar said his case for partial revocation of AFSPA has been backedby Union Home Minister P Chidambaram. “(It) is further cemented by what the Cabinet Committee on Security has said and also what the Union Home Minister has said in recent media interviews. So I don’t think it is anybody’s case, least of all the army’s, that the state government does not have the authority (to revoke the AFSPA),” the Chief Minister said.

Omar said the winter months provided a “window” to the state government and armed forces to go ahead with the phased revocation of AFSPA.

“Sooner the better, because winter is normally a phase where militancy is at a low and that obviously gives us a window to consolidate and reorient our deployments and to see how this phased withdrawal is working,” he said.

About the UHQ) meeting, Omar said he had demanded that the recommendations compiled by Army’s two committees, headed separately by General Officer Commanding of Srinagar based 15 Corps and General Officer Commanding of Nagrota based 16 Corps, should be made available. “I have said (in the UHQ meeting) ‘no’ is not an option, so other than ‘no’ as an option you give me other options that are feasible and workable and that is what I want those committees to examine,” Omar said. (PTI)


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