AFSPA will continue in Jammu and Kashmir: Rajnath

Srinagar, July 2 (IANS) The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which gives sweeping powers to security forces, will continue in Jammu and Kashmir till it is needed, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday.

Talking to reporters here, the minister said that AFSPA in the state would be revoked only when the situation was conducive.

“I pray to God that AFSPA is not needed anywhere in the country,” Singh said, adding that all the stakeholders would have to cooperate in order to revoke the act.

Asked if there were plans to talk to Kashmiri separatist groups, he said there was no such proposal.

“We have no proposal to hold talks with separatists… We are ready to listen and talk to anyone but anti-national activities should be opposed and boycotted,” he said.

Will the PDP-BJP government complete its full term, given the differences between the two parties, he was asked.

Singh replied: “There is no reason to believe that this government will not last its full term.”

On the security situation, the minister said: “I am confident the situation in Kashmir will not be allowed to deteriorate. We need the cooperation of the people of Jammu and Kashmir to improve the situation.”

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