JAMMU: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) had been removed from large parts of the northeast and he was waiting for “permanent peace” in Jammu and Kashmir so it could be removed from the union territory too.
Speaking at a National Security Conclave here, the Union minister also asserted that India has changed the mindset of the whole world, including the US, on the issue of terrorism.
“Today, AFSPA has been removed from large parts of the northeast.
I am waiting for the day when permanent peace will come in Jammu and Kashmir and AFSPA will be removed from here too,” Singh said.
Jammu and Kashmir, he said, has suffered the brunt of terrorism for a long time and people here know how the poison of terrorism hollows out the society.
Noting that the entire network of terrorism was operating in Jammu and Kashmir for decades, he said,
“Today strict action has been taken against that network by weakening it to a great extent. We have stopped the funding of terrorism, stopped the supply of arms and drugs and along with the elimination of terrorists, the work of dismantling the network of underground workers who work here is also going on”.
Referring to the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019, Singh said while the common people of Jammu and Kashmir were kept away from the mainstream for a long time, they also became a “hindrance” in taking action against anti-national forces.
Without naming Pakistan, he said countries using terrorism as a state policy have to understand very well that this game will not last long.
“Today, most of the big countries of the world are united against terrorism,” he said, adding the joint statement issued recently by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden clearly shows how today India has changed the mindset of the whole world, including America, on the issue of terrorism.
“It has been clearly stated in this Joint Statement that there should be concerted action against the UN-listed terrorist organisations, which include Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Hizbul Mujahideen,” he said.
“It has also been said in this joint statement that Pakistan should put a stop to every terrorist act taking place in its territory and should not allow its land to be used for this,” he said, adding Pakistan was also asked to take action against those behind the 26/11 Mumbai and Pathankot attacks.