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Left supports withdrawal of AFSPA in Kashmir

By Onkar Singh
September 15, 2010 11:31 IST
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Hours before the all-party meeting called by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at his 7 Race Course Road residence, Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti left for New Delhi by a special flight to attend the all important meeting . Mehbooba's father and former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mufti Mahommad Sayeed arrived in Delhi on Tuesday evening.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi spoke to Mehbooba Mufti on telephone last evening about the importance of attending the all-party-meet. Omar Abdullah has threatened to resign if the Centre refuses to repeal the Armed Forces Special Power's Act.

Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal P V Naik has gone on record that the security forces need the AFSPA to protect them and enable them to do their duty. Naik is currently the senior-most service chief.

Communist party of Indian-Marxist General secretary Prakash Karat and CPI Politburo member D Raja will attend the meet.
Raja said, " I know you wanted to know our view point of withdrawal of AFSPA. Our stand is that if possible, it should be withdrawn from key areas," he said.

Speaking to from Kolkata airport, Sitaram Yechuri said that his party's stand is that if  the AFSPA  could be withdrawn in some areas of North East, why can't the the same  be done in Kashmir. "For instance the AFSPA is now implemented in Tripura and some other states, which goes to shows that different strategy could be adopted for different situations," he said.

Prakash Javadekar reiterated his party's stand on this issue,"The Bharatiya Janata Party is against the withdrawal of AFSPA and we would put it across as strongly and as forcefully as we should."
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Onkar Singh in New Delhi