Lifting AFSPA from Valley not an option: Venkaiah Naidu

NEW DELHI (TIP): As negotiations between BJP and PDP continue on the contentious issues of Article 370 and Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) before the two agree to form the government in Jammu and Kashmir, Union minister Venkaiah Naidu has hinted that while the former could be discussed, the latter was non-negotiable.

The two parties are currently discussing a common minimum programme to formalize the alliance and form a government. Sources said the discussions were stuck on the issues of abrogation of Article 370 and removal of AFSPA from the Valley. While BJP has been pushing for the former, PDP has been batting for the latter.

Parliamentary affairs minister Naidu on Feb 18 hinted that while the party could consider PDP’s demands on Article 370 given the electoral reality, it would not compromise on AFSPA as it was not just the Army which was a stakeholder in the issue but “the entire country”.

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