November 2004 News

Roadmap For Troops' Cut In J&K Being Readied: Pranab

15 November 2004
The Indian Express

New Delhi: A day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced reduction of troops in Jammu and Kashmir, Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee said a roadmap was being prepared for the withdrawal. Asked if it would be a token withdrawal of troops, Mukherjee told 'Aaj Tak' television news channel that 'it is not a question of token withdrawal. Whatever is needed in whichever sector will be done' and a roadmap is being prepared for that.' All these matters would be decided at the operational level and not at the policy level, Mukherjee said adding all details were being worked. 'The Prime Minister has directed withdrawal of troops. How much reduction in which sector, all these details are being worked out', he said. The Defence Minister said attempts were still on to infiltrate into India from Pakistan. According to him, the Prime Minister has said that 'it is our assessment that the Centre should give message that forces were deployed in Kashmir to improve the situation.' 'The situation has improved a little. Infiltration has reduced. But side by side we have to understand that infiltration attempts are continuing', Mukherjee said. Referring to the existence of terrorist camps in Pakistan, Mukherjee said the entire infrastructure there as well as in occupied Kashmir exists and attempts were being made to cross into India.


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