J&K political parties applaud Amit Shah’s AFSPA revocation remark

**EDS: TV GRAB** New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah speaks during the resolution on Kashmir in the Rajya Sabha, in New Delhi, Monday, Aug 5, 2019. (RSTV/PTI Photo) (PTI8_5_2019_000214B)

In a significant development, Union Home Minister Amit Shah disclosed in an exclusive interview with JK Media Group that the Central government is contemplating the revocation of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in Jammu and Kashmir. Shah emphasized the government’s intention to withdraw troops from the Union territory, entrusting law and order responsibilities solely to the Jammu and Kashmir Police.

“We have plans to pull back troops and leave law and order to the Jammu and Kashmir Police alone. Earlier, Jammu and Kashmir police were not trusted but today they are leading operations. We will also think of revoking AFSPA,” stated Shah.

The AFSPA grants extensive powers to armed forces personnel operating in disturbed areas, including the authority to search, arrest, and use force for maintaining public order. Shah highlighted the government’s efforts in the North East, where AFSPA has been lifted from 70% of the areas, contrasting with its continued enforcement in Jammu and Kashmir.

Taking aim at opposition leaders Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, Shah asserted their lack of credibility on matters of terrorism, accusing them of presiding over numerous fake encounters during their tenures. He underscored the absence of fake encounters in the past five years and emphasized the government’s commitment to addressing terrorism effectively.

Furthermore, Shah outlined the Modi government’s robust measures against terrorism, including the banning of 12 organizations, designation of 36 individuals as terrorists, and extensive actions to curb terror financing. He disclosed the seizure of properties worth ₹150 crore and the freezing of 134 bank accounts, underscoring the government’s resolve in combating .Two former chief ministers on Wednesday welcomed the proposed revocation of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) from Jammu and Kashmir, but also expressed fears that it might be just a poll promise of Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Blueprint aiming gradual withdrawal of Central forces

Reportedly, the Modi government has formulated a comprehensive seven-year blueprint, aiming to gradually withdraw central troops from law and order duties in Jammu and Kashmir. Shah indicated that the blueprint is already in motion, with the Jammu and Kashmir Police assuming a leading role in anti-terror operations, supported by central forces which was not the case till past decades.

Earlier, New Delhi seemed reluctant in entrusting the front line role to state Police. He assured that assembly elections in Kashmir would be completed before September 30, signaling a commitment to democratic processes in the region.

In light of the improving situation in Jammu and Kashmir, Shah pledged to review the coverage of AFSPA, signaling a potential shift towards normalcy in the region. With the government’s focus on empowering local law enforcement and engaging with the youth, Shah’s announcement marks a significant step towards stability and development in Jammu and Kashmir.

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