Troop reduction will consolidate improving conditions: Omar

Friday, January 14, 2011

NEW DELHI - Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Friday welcomed the central government’s move to reduce the security forces in the state by 25 percent, saying it will help to consolidate the improving ground condition.

A quarter of the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir will be cut in the next 12 months, Home Secretary G.K. Pillai said Friday in what was seen as a major confidence-building measure towards the people of the conflict-scarred state as well as Pakistan.

“It is not going to be an overnight reduction…. obviously going to be a gradual rollout,” Abdullah told a private news channel.

“If we are able to consolidate on the process, we will go forward,” he added. Abdullah added though the roll-out was also subject to review, depending on the ground conditions.

One of centre’s interlocutors on Kashmir, Dileep Padgaonkar, said that this kind of “CBM” (confidence-building measure) was an “extremely important measure”. “There has been considerable improvement… taken together it should be possible to see palpable difference on the ground in the next few weeks,” he said.

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