Kashmiris have been pushing for years for the revocation of two laws in particular; the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and Public Safety Act (PSA). AFSPA grants broad immunity to Indian forces operating in Kashmir, and the PSA allows for detention without trial for a minimum of six months and maximum of one year.
Also at issue is the heavy presence of military forces and bunkers throughout the state, including roughly 600,000 troops (including paramilitary and police forces), according to the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society, a prominent human rights organization.
“The militancy has died down to a trickle; a security review is required that could involve re-deployment of the troops,” agrees Radha Kumar, the director general of the Delhi Policy Group that works on track two diplomacy.
“There is a volatile situation but an uneasy calm. There has been steady decline in militancy. The dialogue is very important. We should look at this more positive way. We had recommended three things – stabilizing the situation on the ground, re-integration of divided areas and returning of former militants, and the peace process with the separatist groups,” says Ms. Kumar, a former member of a team of "interlocutors" appointed by the Indian government to start a dialogue with Kashmiris.
The state's chief minister, an ally of India's ruling coalition in New Delhi, has argued publicly for AFSPA's revocation. But last month the chief minister said that the Army has scuttled the proposal.