View of former Armyman on AFSPA

Vinod Tiwari

De-fanging the Armed Forces Special Powers Act
Political expedience must never come in the way of military operations

Gurmeet Kanwal

Omar Abdullah, the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), unilaterally announced in October 2011 that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) would be revoked from four districts of the state (Srinagar, Badgam, Jammu and Samba). He based his decision on his assessment that the security situation has improved and these districts can be handed over to the police forces. While denying that he was playing politics with national security, he ignored the Unified Command till he was reminded that such a decision must be arrived at only after obtaining the consensus of key stakeholders.

AFSPA has come in for some sharp criticism in recent years. Its provisions have been under review at the highest levels for almost three years and a decision by the Cabinet Committee on security is awaited. While the…

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