NDA politicising clemency issue of Afzal: Shakeel Ahmad

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New Delhi, Apr 15 (UNI) Minister of State for Home Shakeel Ahmad today criticised the NDA for politicising the issue of Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal and said setting a timeframe for clearing clemency petitions was not feasible due to the complex process involved.

Mr Ahmad, who took over charge this morning, said the NDA was criticising the UPA government over the delay in Afzal's case while during its own tenure, the average time taken for clearing a clemency case was about six years.

It was unfortunate that now they were trying to politicise the clemency petition issue by making a hue and cry about the pending clemency petition of Afzal, he added.

Without specifically naming Afzal's case, he said deciding on the clemency petition was a complex process as it involved a number of agencies including the state government, administration and the Home Ministry. Moreover, since the issue involved the life of a person, it should not be decided in haste.

Asked whether the government was thinking of setting a timeframe for the disposal of clemency petitions, he said the entire process was very complicated and it would be difficult to do so.

Regarding the proposal to allow Pakistani currency in Jammu and Kashmir, the Minister said it was not possible as the Euro was being used for the entire country in European nations and not for any particular state or region.

Regarding the increasing naxal menace in states like Bihar, Mr Ahmad said the rise in extremist activities was a cause of concern but as law and order was a state subject, it should be tackled appropriately.

UNI AJ RR VC1852

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