Decision To Reduce Troops In J-K Open To Review: Pranab
18 January 2005
New Delhi: The Government's decision to reduce troops in Jammu and Kashmir was open to review 'as and when the situation demands', Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee said today. 'The decision was taken in the context of a particular situation. It is always subject to review. If the number of infiltrators increase or the situation deteriorates, of course there will be a review of this decision,' he told reporters after an Investiture Ceremony of the National Cadet Corps (NCC) at their Republic Day camp here. To a question on recent terrorist attacks in J and K, he said the decision would be reviewed 'as and when the situation demands' but these attacks 'are not enough reason. They are also not due to troop reduction'. Observing that the prevailing levels of infiltration has gone down, Mukherjee said the terrorists always chose major national events like Republic Day or Independence Day or the visits by certain foreign dignitaries to grab world attention. The Defence Minister said India has been consistently emphasising that Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf 'should stick to his own commitment' that Pakistani soil would not be allowed to be used for terrorism and anti-India activities. Maintaining that militancy depended on the logistical support provided to it, he said the current reduction in cross-border infiltration of terrorists was 'mostly due to fencing and stepping up of vigilance by security forces'. To a question on the confidence- building measures (CBMs) with Pakistan, Mukherjee said it was unfortunate that 'continuous and unabated support' was still being given to militants by that country.