Omar Abdullah hopeful of AFSPA revocation
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said Friday after delivering his Independence Day speech that he had requested Defence Minister Arun Jaitley to consider the withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from certain areas of the state.
He said, "The situation in Afghanistan (of the US troops withdrawing) has been used as an excuse, in the belief that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir will deteriorate. We have seen no evidence of that. In fact, militancy continues to decline in Jammu and Kashmir."
Calling fears over rising militancy "the bogey of 2014" he added, "Once the bogey is removed, I will be able to talk more forcefully on the AFSPA revocation."
Abdullah also announced the launch of two policies.
First, he reduced the tax levy on electricity consumption from 22 to 10 per cent. He also announced an amnesty scheme, the details of which would be revealed at a later date.
He also announced five percent job reservations in all state-run agencies for the hill tribes of Jammu and Kashmir, with a further addition of two per cent reservations for Other Backward Classes, bringing the total jobs reserved in this particular category up to four per cent. As of now, a full 50 per cent of all jobs are reserved in Jammu and Kashmir.
(Posted on 15-08-2014)