New Delhi, December 18 (Agencies): Defence Minister AK Antony Friday stated categorically that the armed forces require special powers to counter terrorism and insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast. “As long as their (armed forces) presence is necessary, they need special provisions. They cannot function without special powers,” Antony told reporters here. “If we see, the situation has improved in Jammu and Kashmir and the northeast,” he added. There have been demands from several quarters, including Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, to repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) on grounds that it was leading to gross violation of human rights.