Hope govt is serious over issue of revocation of AFSPA in J&K: Mehbooba

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Jammu: PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday said the revocation of AFSPA and withdrawal of security forces from civilian areas has been an important demand of the people of Jammu and Kashmir for the past several years and hoped that Home Minister Amit Shah’s remarks on the issue are not just a “jumla”.

The PDP has been strongly advocating for this demand, she told reporters here.

“When the Home Minister talked about it (revocation of AFSPA), we could only say ‘Der aaye durust aaye’ (Better late than never). But whenever PDP or Mehbooba Mufti used to raise this demand, I was dubbed as an anti-national. It was said that I am against the Army, I am against the country. They have talked about it during the current elections, are they really serious, or is it a mere jumla (rhetoric) ?” Mufti told reporters.

She was responding to questions about Home Minister Amit Shah’s statement regarding the revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).

“As far as the revocation of AFSPA and withdrawal of security forces from civilian areas and sending the Army to barracks is concerned, it has been an important demand of the people of Jammu and Kashmir for the past several years. PDP has been strongly advocating for this demand every time,” she said.

The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister also criticised the BJP for not keeping its previous poll promises such as providing 2 crore jobs every year and reducing the price of gas cylinder to Rs 400.

“They talked about transferring Rs 15 lakh into the account of every poor family. Nothing like that has happened. I hope Amit Shah is serious and wants to do it. I hope this does not turn out to be a jumla,” she said.

The PDP chief also strongly advocated for the release of youth from jails, and said that if the government wants to heal the wounds inflicted on the children of J-K, they should at least be released.

“How many journalists are in jails? They should release those against whom there are no charges and who are not prosecuted. We will have faith in their remarks… otherwise, it looks like a jumla,” she said.

Shah on Tuesday said the central government will consider revoking the AFSPA in Jammu and Kashmir.

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