Govt planning troop reduction in J-K

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New Delhi, Jan 14 (PTI) The Government is consideringreducing the strength of security forces deployed in Jammu andKashmir by 25 per cent as a confidence building measure.

Home Secretary Gopal K Pillai also said that India wasplanning to unilaterally issue six-month multiple entrypermits for people of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) wantingto visit Jammu and Kashmir through the Line of Control (LoC).

"As a confidence building measure in Jammu and Kashmir,the strength of the security forces would come down by 25 percent. We would like to reduce it as soon as possible dependingon the ground situation," he said addressing a seminar atJamia Milia Islamia University here.

Pillai said in Nagaland a few years ago there were twodivisions of the Army but now hardly there was any presenceof security forces in the state. In the same way there were 60companies (6,000 personnel) of the paramilitary forces inNagaland and now there are just two companies there.

"These are things which, if peace comes, if violence isnot there, if people are comfortable, we can gradually reduce(the force strength) and make sure that all forces are only atthe border and for preventing infiltration," he said.

The Home Secretary said as part of the confidencebuilding measures, India and Pakistan allow people from Jammuand Kashmir and PoK to visit either side with a permit validfor 15 days.

"We suggested that the people visit their relatives moreoften. So, we have suggested that if you give 15 days permitthey have to go through the verification process. So why don''twe give a six-month multiple entry permit. Once verificationis done, one can be able to visit relatives whenever he or shewants. Now we are planning to unilaterally give six monthmultiple entry permits for people of PoK," he said. (More) PTIACB

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