Centre will consider revoking AFSPA in J&K: Shah

Jammu and Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Wednesday that the Centre is contemplating the withdrawal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in Jammu and Kashmir. Speaking in an interview with Gulistan News, Shah unveiled plans to retract troops from the region, entrusting law and order responsibilities solely to the Jammu and Kashmir Police.

“We have plans to pull back troops and leave law and order to the Jammu and Kashmir Police alone,” Shah stated. Recognizing the growing trust in the local police force, Shah emphasized the potential revocation of AFSPA, which grants extensive powers to armed forces personnel in disturbed areas.

Acknowledging the contrast between its application in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast, where it has been lifted from 70% of areas, Shah stressed the need for a reassessment.

Shah criticized opposition leaders Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, asserting they lack credibility on terrorism issues. He pointed out a decrease in fake encounters under the current administration and pledged dialogue with Kashmiri youths, distinguishing them from organizations with alleged ties to Pakistan.

“We will have a dialogue with the youths of Kashmir and not with the organizations that have roots in Pakistan,” Shah affirmed.

Highlighting the government’s counterterrorism measures, Shah mentioned the ban on 12 organizations, designation of 36 individuals as terrorists, and enforcement actions against terror financing. These efforts included the seizure of properties worth ₹150 crore, attachment of 90 properties, and freezing of 134 bank accounts.