Sunday, 27 November 2011

'Army should concentrate on checking infiltration'

Oh yes,this is the true story!
'Army should concentrate on checking infiltration'
Clean Media Correspondent 

New Delhi, Nov 27 (CMC): Making a strong pitch for removal of the controversial AFSPA from parts of Jammu and Kashmir, Union Minister Farooq Abdullah on Sunday said Army was not the "master" of the people of the state and that it should concentrate on choking infiltration of terrorists. 
Farooq also went on to say that local police and CRPF were capable enough to take over the security responsibilities from the areas from where AFSPA was likely to be removed. He also described the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) as a "draconian" law. 
"Army is not our master. Just remember that. People of Jammu and Kashmir are masters of the state. Army is not the master. Army is only to protect. They will continue to protect the interest of nation," Farooq said in an interview. 
He said the job of the Army was to guard the border so that infiltration does not take place and that police and the CRPF are ready to handle other matters. 
Farooq, who heads the New and Renewable Energy Ministry, made it clear that it was not a war between Army and the Abdullahs as projected by some section of media and said "..these are question of concerns of all of us. Whether they are Army's or of civilians'. 
"There are certain things we have to do for the betterment of the people, for the feeling of the people that yes there is better situation. That we are getting better. People of state feel that AFPSA should go," he said. 
Asked whether the political leadership of the state was better equipped to handle the situation, Farooq asked "What do they (army) handle? If they are able to handle, how the hell do these terrorists come. How are they coming if they are able to handle." 
He said that the Army was failing to handle the situation as "otherwise how do they enter?" 
To a question whether he was indicating that every successful infiltration bid was army's failure, he said "Its not the question of Army. Its the failure of entire system. 
Its intelligence failure. We have intelligence. We have internal intelligence, we have the external intelligence. There must be a failure somewhere if they are coming in." 
Amid these failures, the National Conference President rejected suggestion of the questioner for continuance of AFSPA and said "...I am not interested in AFPSA. Let me be very frank about it. I think the time has come when people should be trusted." 
To a question whether he meant that Army does not trust the Kashmiris, he said "I don't know whether you trust Kashmiris or not, that you should go and ask Army. Time has come when people should be given space to breath. When they should feel that there is nothing beyond the law." 
Asked why was his son and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was amending the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) to address the Army's concern, the senior Abdullah said "he must have seen that they need a protection and that's why he is giving them. 
It was not suggested then and Omar is not a lawyer." The Union Minister appeared to be agitated when asked whether Omar was now placating the Army. 
"I have been the Chief Minister myself so don't tell what a Chief Minister can do and cannot do. Chief Minister is the master." 
He wished "good luck to Army" when the questioner said that Army felt that neither introduction of AFSPA was responsible for the situation in Kashmir nor its revocation would be and that the Abdullahs were using this as an alibi to divert the attention as they cannot tackle the real issue. 
Farooq, however, made it clear that there was no proposal to withdraw AFSPA from bordering belts or areas where terrorists were still in large numbers in the Kashmir Valley. 
"AFPSA is not going to be removed from those areas. It's not going from areas they (terrorists) are coming in. But for the other districts it will go. Why are you worried about that? You think the CRPF and the police are useless. That they can't deal with it. That they are unable to deal with it," he said. 
Asked whether Omar had not been able to handle the AFSPA issue well, Farooq shot back "no, not at all. None, none whatsoever. If he (Omar) decides that it (AFSPA) has to go, it must go." 
He said it did not matter if the Army and the Centre did not agree. "It is the wishes of the people that matter and if the people feel that the things are better, then let's give them that. They (Army) said when 40 bunkers were removed...they said if the bunkers go, there will be no safety. The bunkers were removed and the people are able to breathe safely. People are walking safely." 
To a question whether the state government was prepared to defy the army, he said there was no question to defying. "Why are you talking about defying? The question is that there is a feeling in the people's mind that time has come. Its not only in Jammu and Kashmir, there are number of people in rest of the nation also who feel that this draconian law must go." 
When pointed that Army was against the partial withdrawal of AFSPA, Farooq said "Army has its view and that view cannot... its not my view. As far as I am concerned, I feel that once its lifted it is not something that cannot be brought back if the situation turns like that...The Chief Minister has already cleared that. 
"Therefore, Army's feeling that it will give more powers to the militants to act, I don't agree with this thing because this is going to take place only in Srinagar, Budgam, Samba and Jammu..So how does this affect in such small districts?" Asked whether heightening the demand of removal of AFSPA reflected frustration of Abdullahs as it was crystal clear that there won't be even a partial withdrawal, Farooq said "I don't think when you say it is not going to happen. It is going to happen. 
"The question is that the security forces have their own point of view particularly with the Chinese in the PoK region and militancy still being propagated by the other side. This seems to be one of their worries and I think genuinely. So we have to take all these things into consideration." 
Answering a volley of questions about the credibility of his son on the AFSPA issue, Farooq said "Credibility is not at stake. No credibility is at stake at all. These are not things that you decide in a spur of moment. Everything has to take time. After all AFSPA was introduced in 1990 by the then Government and Governor. 

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