Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday criticised the Congress manifesto branding it as “anti-forces”.
Addressing a press conference, Sitharaman said the Congress manifesto will be interpreted as being in favour of terrorists as it wants to dilute the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.
“Terrorist-friendly people will misuse AFSPA,” she said.
She added that the Congress was demoralising the country’s armed forces by wanting to remove the immunity that the law has given them.
With the country set to elect the 17th Lok Sabha, the Congress on Tuesday released its election manifesto which among other things promised a review of the AFSPA and reduction in the presence of Army and personnel of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) in Valley.
The Congress manifesto on Kashmir also said a review of both the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act and the Disturbed Areas Act would be carried out, and “suitable changes will be made in the text of the laws”.
“The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act and the Disturbed Areas Act in J&K will be reviewed. Suitable changes will be made in the text of the laws to balance the requirements of security and the protection of human rights,” the manifesto, titled ‘Congress Will Deliver’, said.
In the manifesto, the Congress also took note of the recent cases of violence and discrimination against students from Jammu-Kashmir as well as traders following the 14 February Pulwama terror attack.