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Don't dilute AFSPA, BJP urges PM

Source: PTI
September 06, 2010 23:09 IST
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Describing the situation in Jammu and Kashmir as "worrisome", the BJP top brass, led by L K Advani, on Monday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and demanded that the  government should not dilute AFSPA or grant autonomy to the state as it would demoralise the security forces.

"The situation in Kashmir is getting worrisome. The home minister had said in Parliament that the situation is very serious..... We emphasised during our meeting with the prime minister that government should do nothing that would serve as encouragement to the separatists asking for azadi," Advani told reporters after the hour-long meeting.

Advani, who had sought the meeting, alleged that the government stand on the issue has "weakened". In the last 60 years, New Delhi has never shown such "weakness", he said.

"The situation in the State is slipping out of control. It appears to us that the Central Government has no clear action plan to deal with the situation," the BJP memorandum said.

Advani was accompanied by Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, her counterpart in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, and Deputy Leader of BJP in the Upper House S S Ahluwalia.

The senior leader maintained that BJP informed the prime minister about its apprehension that in the name of a special package to the state, Centre may grant sops which would lower the morale of the security forces and warned that no such
steps should be taken.

"Dilution of Army's presence in the Valley, dilution of the provisions of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, dilution of the Line of Control and allowing legitimacy to infiltration are only some examples of this kind," the BJP said in the memorandum submitted to the PM.

Advani stated that the security forces have made so many sacrifices but "are being demonised as if it(the current situation) was their fault".

The BJP had never been against giving more power to the state but would never support demand for autonomy, Advani said.
"We had supported the Sarkaria Commission and supported greater powers to states but full autonomy should not be rewarded to any state," he said.

"Azadi" was not even a distant dream but an impossibility which can never be realised, the BJP memorandum said.
"The demand for autonomy, self-rule or dilution of Central Government's authority have nothing to do with the present problem in the Kashmir Valley.  Autonomy or self-rule are only interim steps towards 'Azadi'. The people of India will never accept either of these," BJP said.

The principal opposition stated that any package or sops given to Jammu and Kashmir should be done cautiously.

"Any step to be taken must be judged on the touchstone of whether it will fully integrate the state with India or will it weaken further the political and constitutional relationship of the State with India.  The problems in the State emanate from cross-border terrorism, internal insurgency, lack of economic development  and sub-regional discrimination," the memorandum said.

The BJP delegation also handed a letter to the Prime Minister on Enemy Property Bill, arguing that the Ordinance passed earlier should be upheld and made into an Act without any amendments.

The party also voiced its apprehensions about government moving a fresh Ordinance which would incorporate changes made in the Bill.

"We urge upon you to re-promulgate the Ordinance in its pristine form containing the same provisions," the letter said.
Advani said he had expressed the fear that if this Ordinance was replaced by another Ordinance with changes to benefit some people, then thousands of crores of property will
go into the wrong hands and to people who have no right to hold them.

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