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AFSPA issue very sensitive, need mature decision: AK Antony

NEW DELHI: Terming the issue of withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) as “very very sensitive”, defence minister AK Antony today said the matter has to be handled in a “mature and cool” manner.

Antony said he had “very frank” and “very fruitful” discussions with Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah yesterday but it was inconclusive.

“On our side, my opinion is that this being a very very sensitive issue, let us handle it in a very mature and cool manner,” he told reporters here in reply to questions on the issue of withdrawal of AFSPA in certain areas of the state.

During his meeting with Antony, Abdullah, who has been pressing for revocation of the controversial law from certain parts of the state, presented his case.

Antony said inter-governmental consultations are taking place and discussions on the issue will continue.

To a question on the security situation in the state, the defence minister said it was much better. “But considering that the infiltration attempts from across the border are continuing, we have to be careful 24/7.”

When asked if the AFSPA issue would come up at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security this week, he said: “Don’t put any time limit.”

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