Mufti: revoke special powers with the Army
15 February 2007
Jammu: The former Chief Minister and founder of the People's Democratic Party, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, on Tuesday demanded the revocation of all special powers vested with the armed forces active in Jammu and Kashmir for counter-militancy operations. Talking to reporters, the Mufti said, 'As a partner of the coalition government in the State, the PDP has pursued the goals and objectives set in the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) for finding a peaceful resolution to the problem. We demand the rolling back of the special powers vested with the forces in the state of Jammu and Kashmir so that we can pursue a healing touch policy in our dealings with people.' He added that the people of the State, by participating in elections have clearly declared and affirmed their faith in the political and democratic process. This needs to be responded to in equal measure by the Centre , he said, adding that people's faith in the democratic, political process can be strengthened and enhanced if the focus is shifted away from military means to democratic, political means for finding solutions to the problem. The Mufti informed that after getting the ratification of the state cabinet he would meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in getting all the special powers vested with the forces revoked. The former Chief Minister also called upon the Centre to reduce the strength of troops engaged in anti-militancy operations, in a measured and responsible manner.