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Mufti demands withdrawal of security forces from J&K

Source: PTI
June 08, 2009 21:12 IST
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The People's Democratic Party leader Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Monday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take urgent steps for revoking the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and withdrawing security forces from internal security duty in the Jammu and Kashmir.

"Your return as PM with a stronger mandate would prove a good omen for Kashmir only if this time your vision on the state and subcontinent, is executed constructively in all its dimensions," Sayeed said in a letter to the prime minister, a copy of which was released to the media in Srinagar on Monday.

The "beginning, however, will have to be made by taking the first crucial step of relieving the security forces of internal security duty and scrapping of AFSPA," he said, and warned that efforts that had gone into creating a new atmosphere of peace, reconciliation and resolution in J&K seem to be at a real risk of going waste.

Referring to alleged human rights violations, Sayeed said, "It seems we are again losing our way in Kashmir and ironically this is happening at a time when the world around us is apparently changing for better."

Expressing concern over the current situation, Sayeed said, "Apprehensions of a slide back, in absence of a pro-active follow up, have unfortunately come true in a form that is disturbing and equally unfortunate."

The people of the state had in unequivocal terms rejected violence as an option to resolve political issues and opted democratic means by participating overwhelmingly in successive elections since 2002, the former chief minister observed.

"The troop reduction that you (Singh) had indicated way back in 2004 should be implemented and the state police made fully in-charge of the internal security matters. I have also been stressing on the revocation of AFSPA which arms the security forces with impunity against any actions that they take," Sayeed said and referred to the alleged rape and murder of two women in Shopian town that had sparked massive protests in the Valley.

"Peace and resolution is an idea that has arrived for Kashmir. We all have to give it a helping hand and you will have to lead it from the front as you did in 2004," Sayeed added.

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