Srinagar: The moderate Hurriyat faction
on Friday welcomed the proposed reduction in troops in Jammu and
Kashmir as a "positive step", saying it will help in improving
the ground situation and create a conducive atmosphere for
composite dialogue to resolve the Kashmir issue.
"The statement of Union Home Secretary Gopal K Pillai
on reduction of troops is a positive step," Hurriyat chairman
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said addressing a Friday congregation at
Jamia Masjid in downtown Srinagar.
The Hurriyat has already proposed gradual withdrawal
of troops to commence from cities and thickly populated areas
for improving the ground situation and create conducive
atmosphere for a composite dialogue to resolve Kashmir, the
He said Hurriyat will welcome any step aimed at
reducing the tension between India and Pakistan which will
pave way for resolution of outstanding issues especially
"We understand that in the civilised world, dialogue
is the only way to address issues through peaceful means," he
The Mirwaiz said the upcoming meetings between Indian
and Pakistani foreign secretaries and foreign ministers is a
Other separatists, however, gave a guarded response.
"We will monitor the implementation process before
making a stand on the reduction of the troops," JKLF Chairman
Mohammad Yasin Malik said.
Democratic Freedom Party President Shabir Ahmad Shah
said, "We have heard similar announcements in the past but the
situation on the ground remained unchanged.
“If New Delhi is sincere and serious in its latest
announcement, we will welcome such a move," Shah said and
called for complete withdrawal of troops from the state.
"Only time will decide the sincerity of India," Shah
Addressing a seminar at Jamia Milia Islamia University
in New Delhi, Pillai today said, "As a confidence building
measure in Jammu and Kashmir, the strength of the security
forces would come down by 25 per cent. We would like to reduce
it as soon as possible depending on the ground situation."
The Mirwaiz said the situation and the historic facts
demand that "serious, fruitful and bold steps" are taken with
regard to Kashmir issue.
"Once the Kashmir issue is resolved in accordance with
the wishes and aspirations of the people of Kashmir, other
issues will get automatically addressed," the chair,an of the
moderate Hurriyat said.
He said the entire world supports dialogue between
the two nuclear powers.