Decision to revoke Disturbed Areas Act lies with J&K govt: Omar

Jammu, February 19 (PTI): Rejecting any difference with the Centre on the issue of revoking Armed Forces Special Powers Act and the Disturbed Areas Act, Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday said the decision to withdraw DAA lay with the state government. “I don’t require anybody’s recommendation. Please understand at the end of the day Army is tool of Central government,” Omar told reporters when asked whether his government needed recommendation from the Centre to revoke the draconian laws.
“Therefore it is important, in any situation particularly where the security of Jammu and Kashmir is concerned, to take them (Army) along,” he said answering a volley of questions at a press conference here. Omar said he was not suggesting that the power of veto was with anybody else. “The decision to revoke DAA ultimately is the state government’s,” he said. “But it is important that this should be done in consultation and discussion with the Central government,” he said, adding, “There is no fight or difference with the Centre on the issue.” “The state and the Central governments are on the same page and both believe that this is an opportune time to start reviewing the process and gradually roll back,” Omar said, maintaining that nobody is saying it will be done overnight.
On the opposition by Defence Minister AK Antony to revoke AFSPA from the state, Omar said, “It is important to understand that what is happening is as per the recommendation of the Cabinet Committee of Security, which made eight suggestions, including review of the DAA.” “Antony is a member of CCS, that made the recommendations on the basis of which these committees have been setup to examine the DAA,” he said. The Chief Minister said there was no difference with the Centre on the issue. “The Government of Jammu and Kashmir has been very keen on starting the process of rolling back those laws that are not required at places where militancy is much less than it used to be in the past,” he said.
“Fortunately, the Centre is thinking on the same line. We have absolute support of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, the Union Home Minister and the Defence Minister,” Omar said.