Reduction Of Troops From JK Not Anytime Soon, Media Reports

SRINAGAR: The de-induction of the Army from the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir has been put on hold for the time being as the move has faced opposition from different security agencies. Quoting a top officer in the Unified Command, The Tribune reported that the reduction of troops would happen but not at least until next year.

“It has been made clear that there won’t be any talk on the withdrawal as of now,” he said while referring to a security review meeting held by Home Minister Amit Shah in the first week of December.

“We want it to happen but we have told the government that let’s not do it in a hurry. There is a growing militancy threat in Srinagar,” he added.

Srinagar has become a hub of militancy and around 10 foreign militants are active in the city, he said while adding that they are lying low on the directions of their handlers across the border but they certainly are a big threat.

He rejected the notion that the troops would be removed from J&K and shifted to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) to reinforce the Indian position against China.

“We have sufficient forces along the LAC. We are improving the capabilities now,” he said.

Quoting another senior defense officer, The Tribune reported, “There is certainly a pressure on the LAC due to the Chinese aggression. The security situation in Kashmir is under control. Infiltration from Pakistan has also gone down. If the counter-insurgency is handled by the CRPF and the police in Kashmir, I don’t think there is any harm in withdrawing the Army.”

He also said that the Army had been engaged in counter-insurgency operations in J&K for over three decades, having no experience of war.

However, the Unified Command officer said soldiers were involved in live situational training in J&K.

Pertinent to mention, The Central Government has been discussing the proposal to withdraw the Army from hinterland in J&K and hand over the counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations to the CRPF and the police.

The government has not provided figures that indicate a draw-down but there is the possibility of removing the Army’s nearly 60,000 Rashtriya Rifles soldiers, who are mainly engaged in counter-insurgency operations since mid 1990s, from J&K.

Nearly 1.3 lakh soldiers are deployed in J&K of which around 80,000 are deployed on the Line of Control (LoC).

As per the proposal, the Army would continue to dominate the LoC with Pakistan but would be withdrawn in a phased manner, starting from the relatively peaceful districts.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here