New Delhi: Home Minister P Chidambaram on Friday said his position on controversial AFSPA in Jammu and Kashmir has not changed and the Centre is considering three amendments proposed by his ministry to the Act.
The Home Ministry has proposed three amendments to the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) is considering them, Chidambaram said. "There is no change in the position. MHA's position is that the Act must be amended and we have proposed three amendments to the Act which is under consideration of the CCS," he said.
There is a growing clamour for the Act, which gives special powers to Army, to be amended or withdrawn and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is leading the campaign for its revocation.
"Position of several people is that the Act must be repealed," the Home Minister said. Chidambaram also said that the state government wants
some areas in the state, which are designated as disturbed areas under the Act, to be withdrawn from the purview of the Act before the amendments take place.
"The position of the government of Jammu and Kashmir is that pending the amendment of the Act in respect of some areas a notification declaring those areas as disturbed areas should be withdrawn. So these are well known positions. So we have to see how to go forward," he said.
Omar has been strongly advocating that the process of revoking AFSPA be started by lifting it from peaceful areas where the army has no operations. The Chief Minister has proposed districts like Jammu, Samba and Kathua in the Jammu region and Srinagar and Badgam in the Kashmir Valley, where form the start can be made. Army is against any move to change the status quo on the Act.