Army Chief Wants Indian Soldiers in Kashmir
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - India’s top miliatary general argued for the continuing presence of soldiers in Indian-administered Kashmir in view of the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan that may result in a "terrorist spill-over" into the disputed region.
General Bikram Singh also rejected demands for the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) to be scrapped in the disputed region.
Rights activists say the special powers enable Indian soldiers to act with impunity in the region that they say is one of the world's most heavily militarised zones.
"We need to look at developments in Afghanistan in 2014 before we can look at perhaps tampering with or diluting the disturbed areas (act). This is in regard to the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Jammu and Kashmir," agencies quoted Singh as having told journalists on the eve of Army Day in the Indian capital New Delhi.
He described the AFSPA as a national strategy and that the army was implementing it. He also insisted that the Indian army had "zero tolerance" for human rights violations.
The contentious AFSPA was enacted in 1958 for implementation in India’s “disturbed areas”. Besides being in effect in Kashmir, AFSPA is in vogue in parts of the country’s north-east, Al Jazeera reported.