‘GoI says no to PDP’s demand to revoke AFSPA, hold talks with separatists’

‘GoI says no to PDP’s demand to revoke AFSPA, hold talks with separatists’
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Afaq Bhat

Srinagar, Mar 21: The Government of India has outrightly rejected the demand of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party to start a dialogue with the separatists and to look into the possibility of revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act from a few areas of Jammu and Kashmir.

Sources told Precious Kashmir that the tough posturing by the senior army officials and the paramilitary forces has made it impossible for the J&K government to push for revocation of AFSPA from the state. “Situation in Kashmir is not conducive for repealing the AFSPA. Everyday encounters are taking place and government forces are facing attacks day-in and day out. Under these circumstances AFSPA cannot be revoked,” sources quoted top officials as having conveyed to Ministry of Home Affairs and Defence Ministry,” they added.

Insiders revealed that a few officials are of the opinion that situation in Kashmir is not at all conducive for the revocation of AFSPA. “There is every possibility about militancy related incidents increasing in coming months as the intelligence agencies have already sounded an alert about the possibility of infiltration bids increasing in coming days,” they said.

The ruling PDP, according to the sources, had taken up the matter of AFSPA revocation with the Government of India at the highest level but the response from the other side has been cold.

Sources said that after failing to get a positive response over revocation of AFSPA the ruling party tried its best to convince the GoI to hold talks with the separatists without setting any preconditions. “The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in an apparent snub to PDP said that talks would be held within the ambit of the constitution. And there would be no talks over the status of Kashmir,” they added.

An insider revealed that everyone in New Delhi is of the opinion that Kashmir has to be handled with an “iron fist.” “The GoI’s approach towards Kashmir has upset the ruling PDP. A few leaders within the PDP are of the opinion that if the party continues to carry on with its alliance with BJP it can prove disastrous,” he added.

Sources said that New Delhi has made it clear to PDP that it has appointed Dineshwar Sharma an interlocutor for Kashmir and it’s his discretion whether to talk to Hurriyat or not. “Even the J&K government has been told to concentrate on governance part and stop meddling in the political issues,” the source said, adding, “There are speculations that PDP is weighing its options.”