AFSPA revocation may ‘’revive’’ militancy in J&K: Army

JAMMU : Indian Army is of the view that withdrawal  of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from Jammu and  Kashmir may “revive” militancy in the state.    Withdrawal of AFSPA is one of the major demands of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to enter into an alliance with the BJP to form the government.
PDP-BJP coalition may be announced any time with Mufti Mohammad Sayeed taking over as the new Chief Minister but the Army is of the opinion that the alliance should not be at the cost of AFSPA revocation.
“AFSPA can never go from the state by any means,” a senior Army officer, pleading anonymity, told.    Certain amendments or alterations, he said, can be made in the Act but despite that, it has to remain intact within the state. ,    “If troops are withdrawn from inside the areas where the Act is set in motion, they will not leave the state but will be deployed along the border to stop the infiltration,” the officer said.
He cautioned that the Act’s removal could give chance to the militants to “regroup” themselves, which may “revive” terrorism in the state.
“Thousands of jawans of security forces including Army, state police and other para-military forces have sacrificed their lives to protect this state and AFSPA withdrawal will not be acceptable as a political gimmick,” he added.
The officer warned that Army was already under the pressure of Human Rights and in such a situation, if AFSPA is revoked, it would make the security forces “handicapped.    “Before revoking AFSPA, the Disturbed Areas Act has to be implemented and it cannot be done overnight,” he said, adding that it was the prerogative of Parliament to take the final call on such sensitive matters.