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No time frame on removal of AFSPA, says government

New Delhi, Nov.20 (ANI): There is no consensus even in the central government on the feasibility of removal of AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers ACT) from Jammu and Kashmir, said a senior government official.

The Army has made its position very clear that the time is not right for the removal of the Act, as Pakistan-based militants are still active in the state, attempts at infiltration using sophisticated weaponry has shown no signs of abating, and, the army doesn't want to be in a situation where a piecemeal peace process is put into place where by they might be forced to reenter and face a situation similar to the eighties.

The Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, on the other hand, says that it doesn't make sense to wait for the last gun to be silent before revoking the Act that is, by and large, unpopular in the state and seen as a draconian law which leads to acts of human rights violations.

The interlocutors have also indicated that the time is right for the partial withdrawal of AFSPA.

The official said that the government is not working on a time frame to get consensus on the removal of AFSPA. It is working towards a solution whereby all interested parties agree by and large for either the removal or continuation of the Act for a specific period of time.

However, putting a time frame on removal of the Act was is not on the center's next steps on Kashmir agenda.

The official said that even the Army would not like to remain in Kashmir longer than is absolutely necessary.

It is not the Army's job to handle internal security but when it is called upon to guard the borders and infiltration then there are many angles to the issue said the official.

With the situation in Jammu and Kashmir improving, the official said that the Army is basically involved in counter insurgency grid and securing and patrolling the border. (ANI)

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I am the Editor News, at Asian News International (ANI), Indiaís leading Multimedia News Agency and the India Correspondent for Channel News Asia, a Singapore based broadcaster.
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