New Delhi, Nov 27: Making a strong pitch for removal of the controversial AFSPA from parts of Jammu and Kashmir, Union Minister Farooq Abdullah today said Army was not the “master” of the people of the state and that it should concentrate on choking infiltration of terrorists.
Farooq also went on to say that local police and CRPF were capable enough to take over the security responsibilities from the areas from where AFSPA was likely to be removed. He also described the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) as a “draconian” law.
“Army is not our master. Just remember that. People of Jammu and Kashmir are masters of the state. Army is not the master. Army is only to protect. They will continue to protect the interest of nation,” Farooq told Karan Thapar in his TV show.
He said the job of the Army was to guard the border so that infiltration does not take place and that police and the CRPF are ready to handle other matters.
Farooq, who heads the New and Renewable Energy Ministry, made it clear that it was not a war between Army and the Abdullahs as projected by some section of media and said “..these are question of concerns of all of us. Whether they are Army's or of civilians'.
“There are certain things we have to do for the betterment of the people, for the feeling of the people that yes there is better situation. That we are getting better. People of state feel that AFPSA should go,” he said.
Asked whether the political leadership of the state was better equipped to handle the situation, Farooq asked “What do they (army) handle? If they are able to handle, how the hell do these terrorists come. How are they coming if they are able to handle.”
He said that the Army was failing to handle the situation as “otherwise how do they enter?”