Srinagar: Army once again opposed any move to revoke the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and Disturbed Areas Act (DAA) in Jammu and Kashmir, saying the gains achieved by forces in “bringing down levels of insurgency and infiltration can reverse rapidly if these are removed.”
“We should continue with AFSPA and DAA. They should be continued to be applied (in J&K),” PTI quoted Western Command General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) Lt Gen KJ Singh as saying in Pathankot at an Investiture ceremony of the Command.
He was replying to a question about the demand for revocation of AFSPA by some political parties in Jammu and Kashmir.
Media reports recently said that the government of India might offer partial revocation of the Act from some Valley areas as a concession to the PDP, which has sought some Confidence Building Measures before it could form the government in alliance with the BJP again.
PDP and other pro-India parties have been seeking partial revocation of the Act from the areas they consider ‘peaceful’, but army has openly voiced its opposition each time.
Recently, former finance minister of India P Chidambaram admitted that the civilian government wanted to repeal the legislation, which has been widely misused by the armed forces, but the army opposed it.
“In present scenario, we must understand there is something called the Disturbed Areas Act. An area which is disturbed, it is promulgated and automatically AFSPA applies over there,” he said.
The Army Commander said his perception was “there is a kind of defining stage—there is now reduced infiltration. We have brought down the level of insurgency so we should continue this (AFSPA) to keep control of the area because there is a habit of rapidly going that to same old bad phase, so AFSPA should continue.