New Delhi, Dec 19 (ANI): Syed Ali Shah Geelani, the chairman of the hardline faction of the separatist All Parties Hurriyat Conference, on Friday (December 18) has questioned the need for heavy deployment of troops in Kashmir.
Geelani's statement has come against the background of the decision announced by Union Defence Minister A K Antony to withdraw 30,000 troops from the Himalayan region in the wake of improvement in the security situation.
Geelani questioned the need for heavy deployment of troops against 500 or 600 militants, as claimed by the Central Government.
In recent months, India has been under enormous pressure to reduce the tensions along the Pakistan border in Kashmir, so that Islamabad could focus on fighting the Taliban on its western border with Afghanistan.
Military analysts feel that the slight thinning of troops in the Jammu region was linked with ongoing efforts to resume talks with the moderate Hurriyat faction rather than extending an olive branch to Pakistan.
Kashmiri separatists have asked New Delhi to pull out troops, release prisoners and end what they allege human rights violations.
Geelani also said that Pakistan should not insist on resuming peace talks with India.
"Yes I have said that it (Pakistan) is begging for the dialogue at the doors of India, they should not do this and stick to their stand. The people of Jammu and Kashmir, who are pro-freedom, are intact on their stand, so we encourage Pakistan that they should not beg for dialogue with India," he added. (ANI)