Cabinet Will Consider Recommendations for Replacing AFSPA: Chidambaram

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram has said that recommendations of replacing the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) with a more humane law will soon be tabled before the Cabinet, reported PTI,

It may be mentioned that the Justice Jeevan Reddy Committee and the Second Administrative Reform Commission made such recommendations.

“There was a statement by the Prime Minister that he will take steps to replace the AFSPA by a more humane law. Following that, the Justice Jeevan Reddy committee was appointed. That committee has made certain recommendations. The 2nd administrative reforms commission has also made some recommendations. Considering all the recommendations, the Ministry of Home Affairs has finalized its view and has submitted a note to the Cabinet,” he was quoted as saying.

The controversial act is in force in some northeastern states and Jammu and Kashmir.

The minister noted that the truce pact with NSCN factions in Nagaland was not application to terrorism-affected districts of Tirap and Changland in Arunachal and so defence forces would take actions in the event militants from Nagaland and Assam were found to be active there, report said.

In response to a query about the central government’s stand not press for ADB or World Bank loans for watershed projects in Arunachal Pradesh after objections by China, which considers the state as its territory, Chidambaram was quoted as saying: “If we need loans from ADB and WB we will seek them. But, if we don’t need them, we will not seek them. After all they are loans, not grants.

“I can assure you that projects in Arunachal Pradesh will not suffer for want of funds,” he was quoted as saying.

Responding to another question about the anti-militant strategy in the northeast who were using Arunachal Pradesh forests as a corridor to their bases across the Myanmar border, the minister shot back: “We can’t discuss strategy and tactics against militants at a press conference. Whatever needs to be done will be done. Decisions have been taken, but you can’t expect us to divulge them.”

About measures being taken to seal the Myanmar border to foil any bid by terrorists to cross over from camps in Myanmar, he retorted, “What do you mean by sealing? Are we waiting with some wax to seal the border?”

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