AFSPA a matter for security agencies to decide: Jitendra Singh
Jammu/New Delhi: Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Monday said revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act is a matter for security agencies to decide rather than politicians.
"It (revocation of AFSPA) is a prerogative of security forces to decide whether such measures should stay or go," the Minister of State (MoS) in the PMO told reporters at a function of Kashmiri Pandits in Jammu.
Singh, who was replying to a question about the demand for revocation of AFSPA by Congress state chief Saifuddin Soz and others, said "It is not for us to comment. It is a matter of security". "It is not a prerogative of politicians or political parties," Singh said.
Two days after former Union Home Minister P Chidambaram termed the Armed Forces Special Powers Act as an "obnoxious law", senior Congress leader Soz on Sunday said the law needs to be revoked in Jammu and Kashmir.
"We don't need it (AFSPA) anymore and it should go after taking onboard the generals of the army," Jammu and Kashmir Congress chief Soz had told reporters. He said Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah who is also the chairman of the unified command made an announcement that he would repeal the AFSPA without consultation with the army generals and other security establishments.
On November 14, former Home Minister P Chidambaram had said that the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act is an "obnoxious law" that has no place in a modern, civilised country.
Replying to a query about the allegation that BJP is manipulating votes of Kashmiri Pandits, Singh said "what is the objection if some community, be it Kashmiri Pandits, wish to support BJP. What is the objection. Should be there any objection on it- they may have objection for KP's not supporting them".
He refrained from commenting on Kashmir issue and talks between India and Pakistan to resolve it by saying that BJP's focus is on elections in Jammu and Kashmir and to form a government based on peace and development.