Stating that the removal of AFSPA could be first step to “heal” Kashmiris, Former Union Minister and Senior Congress leader, Prof. Saif-ud-din Soz on Thursday said that AFSPA has mostly been misused in the state.In a statement issued to KNS, Soz said, “I feel intensely that if Government of India wants to respond to the grim situation created by the forces in which fifty precious lives were lost and hundreds got wounded, then, the first step would be to scrap AFSPA from the entire State of Jammu and Kashmir.”He said that, “AFSPA, no doubt, is a draconian law and it has mostly been misused in the State.”Soz said that the armed forces and Para-forces have laws available to check violence of all kinds. “The AFSPA only provides immunity to forces for not being accountable for any of their actions, at all,” Soz said.
He said that “as a citizen, I felt amazed when senior functionaries of the GoI, committed recently that they would explore the possibility of using lesser lethal weapons than pallet-guns, as this assertion pre-supposes that they have only to fight. They also, perhaps, meant that GoI has nothing to do in the realm of INSANIYAT.”“It is also my assessment that should the Govt. of India take the suggested first step (Removal of AFSPA) that might create the possibility of a dialogue with the “Opinion Leaders” in Kashmir!,” Soz added. (KNS)