Paswan, D. Raja Call For Withdrawal Of AFSPA From Kashmir Valley5 December 2010
Srinagar: Senior Communist Party leader D. Raja and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Ram Vilas Paswan on Sunday called for the immediate withdrawal of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from the Kashmir Valley. Interacting with the mediapersons here, Raja said the government should withdraw the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and also release the youths who are being arrested without any criminal offence. 'The government should withdraw this public safety act, then the government will have to urgently review the operation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) act and it should be gradually withdrawn,' said Raja. 'First, it should be withdrawn from Srinagar to establish trust and win the confidence of the people and then the government will have to release those detunes who do not face any major criminal offence,' he added. Raja further commented on the India-Pakistan relations and said that meaningful dialogue should take place between both the countries. 'Both India and Pakistan must engage themselves in a meaningful dialogue whatever the issues we have must be addressed with mutual trust and to be sported out bilaterally and India and Pakistan must engage themselves in a meaningful dialogue,' said Raja. Paswan said 110 youths have been killed during the unrest in the valley and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah did not even bother to go and console the family members of the deceased. '110 youths were killed in which and neither were they militants nor any of them were from Pakistan. We went to Tuffail Mattoo's place and met his family members. If the Chief Minister or any army official went and consoled them, the situation would have been controlled. However, shootouts again took place during the funeral procession,' said Paswan. The delegation is on a three-day visit and met people of different shades of opinion, including the separatist leaders. The team also met Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Chairman Mohammed Yasin Malik and would be meeting moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq. The team has termed the trip as a confidence building measure that would suggest social, political and economic measures towards peace in Kashmir. The delegation comprises Ram Vilas Paswan and Shoaib Iqbal of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), Gopal Choudary of Communist Party of India - Marxist (CPI-M), D. Raja of Communist party of India, Namo Nageshwar Rao of Telgu Desham Party, Danish Ali of Janta Dal - Secular (JD-S), Maheshwar Hazari of Janta Dal- United (JD-U), Shahid Siddiqui of Rashtriya Lok Dal, filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, journalist Seema Mustafa and academician Professor Kamal Chenoy.