No hasty decision on AFSPA issue in J-K: Antony

Written by: Pti
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New Delhi, Nov 8: Infiltration from across the Line of Control (LoC) has increased and no hasty decision can be taken on the AFSPA issue in Jammu and Kashmir, Defence Minister AK Antony said on Thursday, Nov 8. He also said there was a need to be watchful though violence levels had come down in the state.

"I agree with Chief Minister (Omar Abdullah) that violence level has come down but infiltration is not coming down and it has increased slightly and we have to be watchful round-the-clock. We cannot take a hasty decision. I cannot say in detail but discussions are going on," he told reporters here.

The Minister was asked about the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister's demand for revoking the operation of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the state in view of the improved security situation there. Abdullah had said on Monday that he was in favour of a phased withdrawal of the Act which gives sweeping powers to the armed forces.

The issue of withdrawal of AFSPA from certain parts of the state has been raised by the J-K government and political parties there for quite some time now. The Defence Ministry and the Army have been strongly opposing withdrawal of AFSPA from the state, saying that they apprehended that such a step could adversely impact the security architecture there. The Defence Minister has held several meetings with Abdullah on the issue.


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