The Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA), was introduced in parts of Jammu and Kashmir on July 05,1990 when the entire law and order machinery in the state collapsed and the existing laws were found inadequate to deal with an armed separatist movement for ‘Independence’ in Kashmir.
Under section 3 of the AFSPA, the state Jammu and Kashmir is classified as a ‘Disturbed area’. Section 4 of this Act gives special powers to the armed forces, under which all the security forces operating in a ‘Disturbed area’ are given ‘Unrestricted’ | ‘Unaccounted’ power to carry out their operations.
Five reasons to Not Revoke AFSPA
1. There is a gap between the rulers and the ruled. All these years political will was not seen around the bolstering of security as well as normalization of the exigent situation. This political will could have actually bridged the gap assuring that a situation like the 90’s will not arise.
2. As far as national security is concerned, it is a sad and bitter fact that the credentials of all the political leaders of Kashmir are suspect. The semantics and strategies used time and again by the politicians to blackmail the center have a great potential to hurt the national security in Kashmir.
3. There is a sound argument that there is no harm in withdrawing this controversial law from the militancy-free areas. However, the easiest counter argument is what if the AFSPA relaxed regions become hiding places for militants or already are?
4. Say, AFSPA is withdrawn and the army goes back to its barracks. How easily can the army be brought back to operational duty if militancy resurfaces? Because it is not easy, who will be accountable for the loss of life in the resurgence of terrorism?
5. What a lot of vulnerable youth does not understand is that it is actually the politicians who have fuelled the alienation of the gullible youth for personal benefit. This has been motivating the young to join militancy. The political class should understand that unless they deliver on security, AFSPA is here to stay.
Five reasons to withdraw the draconian AFSPA
1. Has the army and other wings of security forces been able to bring normalcy? It is a known fact that ‘yes’ there is normalcy now. Then what is the requirement of this extraordinary act anymore?
2. Privacy of the masses in Kashmir has become a casualty and this has also forced the people of Kashmir to perpetually stay suspect of even the good deeds by the Indian government.
3. Both the armed forces operations and in-response armed separatists in Kashmir have been reason for the killings and disappearances which are the driving force today for the youth to join militancy.
4. The support and over-reliance on AFSPA has caused a serious dent in the operational capacity of the Army in tackling infiltration and armed militancy.
5. The failure of the politicians to deliver to the people and the politicians consistently blaming armed forces has brought Army and politicians into a constant confrontational mode. This situation has derailed the actual purpose of AFSPA. If simply the politicians deliver, there is no need of the AFSPA in Jammu and Kashmir.