Srinagar: After Congress leader Saifuddin Soz, another party leader has questioned Chief Minister Omar Abdullah's bid to revoke AFSPA from some parts of Jammu and Kashmir saying the time is not ripe for such a move.

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"The time is not yet ripe for revoking the AFSPA. May be next year...May be when we have another peaceful summer," Congress leader and Public Health Engineering Minister Taj Mohiuddin told reporters here.

He said there was no guarantee that the areas, where Armed Forces Special Powers Act is revoked, will not become a safe haven for militants. "Can anyone guarantee that?"

Mohiuddin said Kashmir was not a place where politics can be played. While Congress supported revocation of the Act, all the stake-holders need to be taken on board before a decision is taken on the issue, he said.

"All the stakeholders need to be taken into confidence on the matter and it should be placed before the cabinet before sending it to the Governor (for approval)," Mohiuddin said.

This view was shared by all the Congress ministers in the state and even the party, he stated.

Asked if Omar had jumped the gun by announcing that AFSPA will be revoked from some areas before taking the state cabinet into consideration, Mohiuddin said the Chief Minister was privy to information which he did not have and would not comment on it.

"(Moreover), the CM has said that he is holding consultations with army and Union Home Ministry on the issue ...We are sure we will be able to reach a consensus," he said.

Asked if the AFSPA was discussed during yesterday's cabinet meeting, Mohiuddin said he cannot divulge what transpired there.

Commenting on the statement of JKPCC president Saifuddin Soz that Omar had not consulted the Congress before making the announcement, Mohiuddin said he cannot talk for others.

The Minister, however, maintained that he was consulted on the issue.

To a query, Mohiuddin said there was no question of destabilising the Omar-led government in the wake of voices within Congress demanding rotation of the Chief Minister's post after the ruling coalition completes three years in office.

"I can vouch for this that he (Omar) is going to be the Chief Minister for all six years... A decision on the issue is to be taken by the Congress high command and as of now, there is no change in our stand," the Minister added.

RSS assails Omar stand on AFSPA


After BJP, the RSS has slammed Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah for pushing to revoke AFSPA from the state claiming that the move was part of vote bank politics to salvage his image.

RSS mouthpiece 'Panchajanya' said that Abdullah was "bent upon compromising national interest" by indulging in vote bank politics to salvage his image.

"...In the name of fulfilling election promise, he is making all out efforts to withdraw the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act from the Valley...it directly implies that he is surrendering before separatists while ignoring the danger of jehadi terror," the editorial in the latest issue of the journal read.

It said while these leaders keep accusing security forces of being inhuman and cruel, the terror incidents are always ignored.

"Unfortunately, Congress-led UPA government at the Centre has never taken the Kashmir problem seriously and views it with an electoral perspective," the write up said, adding that the problem has persisted due to the "wrong policies" adopted by Congress from the time of Pt Jawaharlal Nehru.

(JPN/Agencies)