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Security agencies last word on scrapping AFSPA: Jitendra Singh

Union Minister Jitendra Singh Thursday said that the last word on scrapping of AFSPA should come from the security agencies and not political functionaries in Jammu and Kashmir.

“The last word on revoking AFSPA should come from the security agencies,” Singh, Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office, told reporters here today.

“If the security agencies feel that there is an improvement in the situation or this is not the right time for revocation of AFSPA in Jammu and Kashmir, that should suffice and we should not create an issue time and again,” he said.

He was replying to a question on the demand for revocation of AFSPA in the state from some quarters, inluding by its coalition partner PDP.

“These questions hardly need to be answered and my stand on this is consistent over the years. I am not qualified to answer this question,” he said.

“I have always believed and that is my consistent point of view that this is a subject where the last word should come from the security agencies. Any political functionary on any of the highest post can provide suggestions on the issue but cannot be a deciding factor,” he said.

On the issue of waving of Pakistani flags in Kashmir and hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani’s statement advocating it, he said, “Union Home Ministry and Government of India has made it clear that nobody has the right to wave Pakistani flags and incite masses.

“We cannot tolerate such acts. We have been assured of appropriate action against those elements so that these things are not repeated again and again,” he said.

Singh also attributed the militant attacks on owners of mobile cellular towers in the Valley to separatist politics ahead of the Amarnath Yatra.

“It has been a general practice for the last few years that some anti-national start such activities ahead of the Amarnath yatra,” he said.

“Some Kashmir centric mainstream parties too get tempted to be trapped into this sort of separatist politics,” Singh said, adding that such elements will be dealt with sternly.

“I am sure that authorities will take action,” Singh said.

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