Time yet to right for removing AFSPA: Army Chief

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New Delhi, March 15: Army Chief General Bikram Singh on Friday said that the time is not right for the removal of the AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act) from Jammu and Kashmir, adding that the decision on this should not be politicised.

When asked on the matter, Singh said the army could only give suggestion and he would say that it is not the right time to tamper with the act.

The Army Chief was speaking at a conclave when he was asked to comment on Union minister Farooq Abdullah's demand for repealing the AFSPA from the state. Farooq's son Omar, currently the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, and other leaders and separatists have also raised similar demands.

Gen Singh said it is important to take into consideration the security issues before taking a decision, adding that the decision should serve the national interest and not be politicised. The army head said the Indian Army was working towards strengthening the hands of the state government and the day the latter felt that it could deal with the situation of its own, then it would have it its way.

Gen Singh said the terror network across the Line of Control was still intact. One of the terrorists killed in Srinagar on Tuesday came from Pakistan and a number of external issues were affecting the security environment in the state, he said.

"This decision (on AFSPA) has to be taken in the backdrop of violence profile, in the backdrop of what can happen in future, in the backdrop of futuristic contours. We have to be very confident that it does not relapse. We shall not be left in a position of disadvantage," Gen Singh said.

When asked that the army was not listening to the government on the issue as the finance minister had said that the government wanted the law to go but the former made objections on it, Gen Singh said they would relocate if the government indeed takes a decision in this.

Does the Indian Army not want to withdraw from the counter-insurgency roles? To this, Gen Singh said they were losing men everyday. "We are not there for fun," he said.

OneIndia News

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