Arbitrary Arrests Not Acceptable: PM4 March 2011
Jammu: Stating that no political party has a “veto” with regard to resolution of Kashmir issue, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday said arbitrary arrests were unacceptable as it was not in consistence with the norms of the civilized government. “As far as the arbitrary arrests are concerned, I have no hesitance in saying that such arrests should not take place. However, I am not sure if they are taking place but I will talk to the Chief minister in this regard and won’t shy away from saying that arbitrary arrests are not in consistence with any civilized government in present times,” Prime Minister said in reply to a query over arbitrary arrests of Kashmiri youth to prevent disturbances in the upcoming summer He was addressing a press conference at technical airport, here before leaving for New Delhi. Asked if Government of India (GoI) will go ahead with a political initiative on Kashmir as recommended by interlocutors without taking Hurriyat leadership on board, PM said, “No group or political party has a ‘veto’ on the long-standing problem of Kashmir. However, we would welcome involvement of all sections of public opinion including those, who are not part of the mainstream politics. But I think we should not give any group a veto for a decision on Kashmir. I myself held two meetings with Hurriyat leaders and sincerely hope that they are part of the process to find a solution to the long standing Kashmir problem”. “In past people have talked about packages but this time we thought that the voices of people particularly of those who are not part of the mainstream political spectrum should be heard. The interlocutors are on the job and I hope that their report will facilitate action on any Confidence Building Measure,” said Singh, who was flanked by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah , JKPCC Chief Saif-ud-Din Soz and Union Home Health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad . On revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFPSA) and Disturbed Areas Act, he said, “If situation in the State becomes conducive for scrapping of Disturbed Areas Act, the government and the army will be happy to repeal the act. It is a continuous process and if the law and order situation improves, Disturbed Areas Act should be scrapped from those parts of the state”. Asked if GoI will act against former army Major Avtar Singh, who is involved in killing of Human Rights lawyer Jaleel Andrabi, to maintain its stand of Zero tolerance over Human Rights violations, Singh said, “I am not familiar with this case. The policy of our government is zero tolerance to human rights violations and we remain committed to it”. Expressing satisfaction over the resumption of dialogue with Pakistan, he said, “I was hopeful that a dialogue takes place on constructive lines. We are dealing with Government of Pakistan not with what is happening in that country. It is fortunate that India and Pakistan have agreed to resume dialogue at foreign secretary level. Let’s hope that this dialogue proceeds along the constructive lines,” Singh said. On economic packages to State, Prime Minister reiterated that 1-1.5 lakh jobs will be created across the State on the recommendations put forward by the C Rangarajan Committee. “It will not be correct to say that the recommendations of the Rangarajan committee were not implemented. The main portions of this report were implemented and have shown constructive results on ground. The action on recommendations will result in creation of 1-1.5 lakh job opportunities in the state within next 3-5 years. Some recommendations on power projects and other things were not accepted,” Singh said in response to a query on delay in implementation of Rangarajan Committee recommendations. PM said he will talk to the parliamentarians regarding the appointment of P J Thomas as the CVC commissioner. “I have already said that I respect the judgment of Supreme Court in this regard. The highest court of the country has announced the decision and I accept and respect it. I accept my responsibility as well and will speak to the parliament first,” he said.