Troop reduction will happen in J&K: Interlocutors

Brushing aside reported differences between the Union Home Ministry and the Army, Central interlocutors on Wednesday said they were sure that the strength of security forces in the Valley would be reduced.

Last Updated: Jan 19, 2011, 20:59 PM IST

Jammu: Brushing aside reported differences
between the Union Home Ministry and the Army on the proposed
troop reduction in Jammu and Kashmir, Central interlocutors
on Wednesday said they were sure that the strength of security forces
in the Valley would be reduced.
"I do not think so," veteran journalist Dileep
Padgaonkar, who heads the team of three interlocutors, said in
reply to a question on whether differences between the Army
and Home Ministry could create problems in the state.

"I have good reason to believe that this endeavour (troop
reduction) is going to happen," he said.

The Chief interlocutor said a dialogue was underway in
order to ensure that Union Home Secretary G K Pillai`s
announcement regarding the reduction of troops is facilitated
and that the Army and the Ministry are "on the same page" on
the issue.
"Why don`t we allow both of them (Army and MHA) to engage
in a dialogue in order to settle this question. I keep on
repeating and I repeat yet again that both are going to be on
the same page on the issue," Padgaonkar said.

The Union Home Secretary, on January 14, had said that
the Central Government was contemplating reducing the strength
of security forces in Jammu and Kashmir by 25 per cent.

PTI