New Delhi: The fate of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) that gives sweeping powers to the armed forces will be discussed when Defence Minister AK Antony visits the Kashmir valley from Saturday to review the security situation there.
Accompanied by Army chief General Bikram Singh and Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma, the Defence Minister will undertake the two day-long tour of some of the forward areas in the state and will hold interactions with Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and Governor NN Vohra.
"Occasionally I used to go there. My purpose is to review the present security scenario there. As summer has started, I must know the ground realities," Antony told reporters here today.
He was replying to a question on the purpose of his tour to the valley- first ever in the last 18 months - during which he will also head the meeting of Unified Headquarters (UHQ) in Srinagar.
"I will also have detailed discussions with Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and our armed forces. Defence Secretary, Army Chief and other officials will be there and we will have a detailed discussion over the security scenario," Antony said.
Meanwhile, sources in the Ministry said that AFSPA will be discussed during the meeting of Defence Minister and state officials.
Earlier during the day, on the sidelines of wreath laying ceremony at Amar Jawan Jyoti on the occasion of Kargil Vijay Diwas, Antony had refused to comment whether AFSPA will be discussed during his meeting with Abdullah and other state officials.
"I don't want to say anything in public on this issue," he had said.