PM To Decide On AFSPA: Ansari

4 July 2009
Greater Kashmir

Jhangar (Rajouri): The vice-president, Muhammad Hamid Ansari, who headed the prime minister’s Working Group on Intra-state Confidence Building Measures, and favored withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act from Jammu and Kashmir, today said the prime minister would take a decision on the matter. “The prime minister and the central government will decide this issue. You leave it to them,” Ansari said, when asked about the action taken by the government on the recommendations for repealing the AFSPA and the Disturbed Area Act. He refused to make any further comment on the issue. “I am here to honor a national hero. This event is dedicated to him so our focus should be on the event,” Ansari said, while unveiling the bust of Mahavir Chakra awardee, Brigadier Muhammad Usman, at Jhangar, a kilometre from the line of control in Rajouri district. He dedicated Brigadier Usman Memorial Hospital to the nation. Late Brigadier Usman had fought against Pakistani troops in the 1948 war and died while trying to recapture Jhangar and Nowshera areas. Ansari unveiled the memorial in presence of senior army officials and other civil dignitaries. He was accompanied by the GoC, Northern Command, Lt Gen P C Bhardwaj, and GoC, White Night Corps, R K Swami. During his stint as chairman of the Working Group on intra-state CBMs, Ansari had recommended in 2007 that the Act giving special powers to the armed forces should be revoked.