Teetwal (J&K): Amidst raging debate over Jammu and Kashmir government's intention to revoke AFSPA from parts of the state, Army on Thursday made its case clear saying any such move will handicap the capability of the force to conduct counter insurgency operations.

"We have a situation which has now carried on for more than 20 years and the Army requires the provisions to enable it to act... Without the provisions, the Army will be handicapped," General Officer Commanding in Chief for Northern Command Lt Gen K T Parnaik told reporters here, 200 kms from Srinagar.

The Army Commander, who visited this village - located on the Line of Control - in north Kashmir's Kupwara district, said removing the AFSPA from certain areas of the state will
make it difficult for the Army to operate.

"It is a question of the confidence and trust that you repose in your Army. If you are removing the Act from certain areas then it will become difficult for the Army to operate in
the manner we operate now," he said.

Debate over the partial revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and Disturbed Areas Act, introduced in 1990 to give the Army and paramilitary forces powers to detain suspects and use deadly force, began last month when Chief Minister Omar Abdullah announced that Acts will be revoked from parts of the state "within few days".

Lt Gen Parnaik, who was accompanied by General Officer Commanding of Srinagar based 15 Corps Lt Gen S A Hasnain, termed AFSPA as an "enabling" Act and said it was not a draconian law.

"The fact is that partial revocation from the areas may be seen as a genuine thing because there seems to be peace here. But peace is very fragile," he said. "After all we have seen one of the most peaceful summers in 2011 and that has happened with AFSPA only," he said.

He said if AFSPA is revoked from certain areas, "terrorists and inimical elements" will exploit the situation. "We don't want that to happen," he said.

Agencies