Former Inspector General of J&K Police Shafqat Watali joins National Conference in presence of Party Supremo Farooq Abdullah. An Indian Police Officer (IPS) who attained superannuation on January 31 this year joined NC at party head quarter Nawai Suba in summer capital of state here today.
The former super cop who brought in a notable change in police department with his visionary and proactive approach joined electoral politics soon after retiring from police services. Analysts consider it as a shot in arm of NC which seems to be up for a very promising come back in yet to be declared assembly elections in state.
Former Inspector General of JKP Shafqat Watali, in a telephonic conversation with Epilogue News,
Being a one time supercop, what prompted you to join electoral politics?
I as a police officer was always for community policing, and I have used my service to solve the day to day problem of people. Apart from regular policing we have issues which are of civil and criminal nature or at times cases which are of both nature civil as well as criminal. I just wanted to continue it and give it a bigger platform. If I have the energy and talent, I would like to work for the people.
Was joining electoral politics at the back of your mind while in service or it was an instantaneous decision?
It was, once I was getting my retirement, it was in my mind what to do, because there are various means to work for the people, social work, NGO and many others and politics is one of them. So, I evaluated all the options and came to the decision that Politics is the best way of doing it because you have bigger platform where you can work for different districts and state. I took the final decision once I retired.
Are you yourself going to people seeking vote, if yes, have you proposed any constituency?
Since I have joined National Conference, I have told the leadership that I would like to work for the people. Now whether I have to seek votes for myself or somebody else, that is a different issue and Party will decide that. As of now, I have requested the leadership to give me a role that I can work in different areas of the state including Leh to spread the message of brotherhood and oneness. If the party tomorrow decides that I have a role in electoral politics, I will abide by the decision.
As far as constituency is concerned we have roots everywhere, I have worked in Jammu region, belong to valley, and it again depends on the party which is the best suited place, if at all I have to fight lections.
What is your stand on AFSPA?
The issue is that we do have regular laws in state. We have protection under law and if we are working in a bonafide manner and something happened which is not deliberate, while doing our duties we commit a mistake, we are protected by law. SO, may be at one point of time this law was needed but I think we need to give it a try, on experimental basis. The law is applicable through-out the state, do we need it everywhere in the state, we have to decide this. We need to give peace a chance.
We need to understand, when do we need this law. It is only when Army has to take over and work in difficult areas, they insist that we should have this kind of a law and that creates bit of a problem. We must reduce the role of Army and use more and more paramilitary forces.
Noteworthy Shafqat Watali is the son of illustrious father former DIG of state A M Watali who was at the helm of affairs during the hay days of militancy. He had then proposed in a meeting attended by former governor Jagmohan, Farooq Abdullah and Army commanders that the militancy was still a low-key affair and manageable, provided the borders were sealed. He claims to have received a blunt reply by one of the army Generals “Infiltration cannot be prevented with porous LOC,” to which he turned towards the Governor Jagmohan and said, “If this is the situation, then we are betraying the nation!”