Situation conducive or not, Army knows the best: Soz

Shuchismita. Dated: 7/15/2013 12:38:29 AM

JAMMU, Jul 14: Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) president Prof Saif-ud-Din Soz today stated that the Army Chief knew the best whether the situation was conducive in J&K for revocation of Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA) or not.
He said that AFSPA was a temporary law and would go by way of consultations.
“Both the Union Home Minister and the Defence Minister have to agree. This issue should not be an issue of public debate,” he added.
Soz was talking to media after day long convention of party delegates of district Jammu urban at Barnai.
When asked whether there was any change in his perception vis-à-vis demand for AFSPA revocation following renewed spate of violence in the Valley, he said there was no change in his stand.
“I’ve always maintained that it’s a temporary law. It has to go. But it will go by way of consultations. If the process is complete, I welcome it. If the Union Home Minister and Defence Minister of India agree, I’ll agree with them. Both of them have to agree.”
Responding to the question about his stand, Congress’ stand about the situation being conducive or not for its revocation, his reply was, “Only General (the Army Chief) knows whether the situation is conducive or not for its revocation. I cannot talk about army’s perception. There is a Unified Command. In J&K, only Unified Command has a right to discuss this issue, none else can discuss it on the streets. This should not be an issue of public debate.”
DELAY IN ULB, BDC POLLS: JKPCC president sought to dispel the notion that the delay in ULB, BDC polls was because of Congress.
“You cannot criticise Congress for delay in the Block Development Council and Urban Local Bodies polls. We’re working in this direction with our full might. Our hopes are alive. We’re confident. Didn’t I say if not today tomorrow it will happen for sure?” he stated.
WAS NC PLAYING DOUBLESPEAK ON ULB, BDC POLLS? Confronted with query, Soz dodged a direct reply yet conveyed the sentiment of Congress too in his inimitable manner. “Mujhe Kehne Ki Kya Zaroorat Hai Isko Hona Hai…(Why do I need to say …..this has to be done),” he said.
He said there was no hitch in it adding, “The elections would be held soon but I cannot quantify time.”
IS NATIONAL CONFERENCE A GOOD PARTNER FOR CONGRESS?: In his inimitable way, he skirted the question if National Conference (NC) was a good partner for Congress which was being ditched, embarrassed by the former on many issues.
“We’ll decide on that account when we go to polls. Any decision on this account will be guided by a simple fact as what is in the interest of Congress,” he said.
JKPCC president, however, refused to respond to questions related to anti-Congress statements of National Conference additional general secretary Dr Mustafa Kamal.
Were the ongoing wordy duels between Congress and National Conference on many issues just “friendly fights” to befool the masses?
His one-liner to this poser was, “We should see what will happen.”
DOES CONGRESS PERCEIVE PDP A BETTER, RELIABLE PARTNER?: JKPCC president stated that he won’t react others’ perception on this issue. “I’ll tell you only as and when Congress engages in the arithmetic of losses and benefits.”
NO FACTIONALISIM IN CONGRESS: Soz played down the questions pertaining to “obvious display of unity in district convention which was attended by the prominent members of Azad camp as well.”
“See, I never believed in factionalism. I always said that I’m the spokesperson of party. I’m its president. I neither took notice of factionalism nor promoted it ever. I invited Azad Sahib and Ambika Soni. But they could not come because of their compelling engagements elsewhere,” he said.
NO PACKAGE FOR DODA QUAKE RELIEF: JKPCC president evaded direct reply to the question pertaining to Centre’s apathy towards Doda quake victims with particular reference to the silence of the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and AICC president Sonia Gandhi on the issue of central relief package for quake victims during their recent tour to Kishtwar and Banihal.
Soz said, “Doda, mainly, needs awareness vis-à-vis the construction of quake-resistant houses in future. It needs to be focused as how the damaged houses can be repaired. Even earlier I had stated that the Government of India should bear all the expenses. Later I discussed the issue with National Disaster Management Authority vice chairman M Shashidhar Reddy for four and a half hours.”
“There is also a member from J&K in NDMA Dr Muzaffar, with whom I discussed the scope of Japanese technique retro-fitting here as many parts of J&K, mainly erstwhile Doda region and Kashmir Valley fall in the Seismic Zone-V. This is a cause of worry for us. In Japan, nowadays the houses constructed by modern technology tremble yet don’t collapse in the quake. I feel Doda needs modern technology. I’m also working in this direction.”
Did he mean that they did not need package, confronted with this query, his evasive answer was, “Zimmedari Say Batao Kitne Paise Chahiye Main Prime Minister Ki Taraf Say Ailaan Karungaa (….With full sense of responsibility, come out with the amount required, I’ll announce on behalf of the Prime Minister..).”
He modified his reply when pointed out that the central team had already visited the affected areas and assessed the quantum of losses. “This work is happening through various institutions. I’ll update myself and will get back to you,” Soz added.
CONG FAILED TO IMPLEMENT ITS MANIFESTO VIS-À-VIS EMPOWERMENT OF PANCHAYATS: Faced with this query, Soz said that the party was striving hard for the empowerment of Panchayat in the state. He stated that the report of committee, presided over by him, had already submitted a report to the Chief Minister six months ago.
“It’s being discussed in the Alliance Coordination Committee and in the cabinet also. So we’re fighting on it democratically. We won’t budge, we won’t compromise on that issue. This is wrong to say that the Congress has not implemented its manifesto. The resolution passed in today’s district convention is the outline of our manifesto,” Soz replied.
Earlier while addressing day long convention of party delegates of district Jammu urban, Soz had said that there would be no compromise on principles of Congress including those related to empowerment of Panchayats. “No nomination would be accepted,” he had added.
CONG WILL FORM GOVT ON ITS OWN: Replying to a query about the reason behind his confidence that Congress would form government on its own and would lead in the Valley also in the next polls, Soz said that his perception was supported by his experience on the ground as he traveled far and wide in the state.
Regarding the absence of Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, Soz clarified that Azad had conveyed to him his (Azad’s) “inability to attend the convention through a reliable person.”



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