Srinagar, May 4: Alleging that Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s latest statement on Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) reflects her ignorance of the realities in Kashmir, senior Congress leader Prof Saifuddin Soz on Saturday said when this act was being discussed in the Lok Sabha in 1990, he protested and threw away the copies of the bill in the well of the House.
“When this draconian measure (AFSPA) was discussed in the Lok Sabha on November, 10, 1990, I had strongly protested and thrown away the copy of the bill in the well of the House”, Prof Soz said in a statement here this afternoon.
My protest was widely reported in the media, he said, adding that the diehards and ill informed BJP loud-mouths, in their ignorance and sectarian thinking, had described me as a sympathizer of the extremists”.
Former Union minister said over this long period of time, nothing seems to have changed for the BJP’s narrow mindedness on issues.
“Sitharaman’s ill-conceived statement on AFSPA saying that it was needed by the forces was going to worsen the situation in Kashmir. The present Central Government is completely unprepared to take notice of the realities in Kashmir”, he said.
He said, “I could raise a straight question for these propagandist patriots as to why they don’t take notice of the beating that the electoral process has received in the now concluded Lok Sabha elections in Kashmir?
“I wish Sitharaman had time to understand the death and destruction caused by this uncivilized and draconian law in Kashmir, all these years, besides deepening the alienation of Kashmiris with the Union of India, Soz said.
'It is heartening, however, that the Congress has assured people of Kashmir that AFSPA will be reshaped to lose its unacceptable character, particularly the clause (iv) which is absolutely draconian,” he said. (UNI)