Srinagar: Stressing that situation was conducive for phased withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday said there should have been more progress on the issue and he would continue to pursue the "mission".

"I have made no bones about the fact that we should have made more progress on that (AFSPA). I believe we are comfortably placed for the phase-wise removal of the AFSPA," he told reporters after presiding over the Police Martyrs’ Day function at Zewan in the outskirts of the city.

Omar said although the army has publicly expressed its reservations about the revocation of the AFSPA in the state, he would continue his efforts for the withdrawal of the act in phases.

"It is a no secret that army has very publicly expressed its reservation on the issue. As far as I am concerned, it is a mission worth pursuing and I am going to pursue this objective," he said.

Omar said all the indicators of the situation in the state pointed that the time had come for phased withdrawal of the controversial act.

"I believe the situation and circumstances allow for it. Militancy is at an all time low, casualties are at an all time low, you continue to have areas where the army has no requirement for operations and, therefore, this is as good time as any (for revoking AFSPA)," he said.

Earlier, addressing the gathering of families of police martyrs, serving and retired police personnel, the chief minister said the state police is one of the best forces in the country and can take up any challenge.


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