India Rules Out 'demilitarization' In Jammu And Kashmir
4 July 2006
New Delhi: Ruling out any possibility of any troop reduction in Jammu and Kashmir, the Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee said redeployment of forces will be based on the prevailing ground situation in the state. After attending a function to commemorate the martyrdom day of Brig. Mohammed Usman, the hero of the battle for Naushera in Kashmir in 1947-48, Pranab Mukherjee said, 'There is no question of demilitarisation in Jammu and Kashmir.' While replying to questions, Mukherjee said review of the developments in Jammu and Kashmir was always being undertaken by the armed forces and redeployment of troops will depend on the ground situation. Further when asked if there has been a surge in infiltration from across the border in Jammu and Kashmir,Mukherjee said ' Normally during this period, it (increase in infiltration) happens.' The Defence Minister said terrorists tend to step up their activities whenever there is an improvement in the ground situation or an important national or international event is to take place. 'They (the terrorists) will resort to some sort of action to let the world know that they exist,' Mukherjee said while referring to the second roundtable on Kashmir chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in May this year. Over half a century after he died saving Jhangar from a Pakistani attack in 1948, Brigadier Mohammed Usman, who was awarded a posthumous Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) for his role in the 1947-48 operations, was commemorated today for the first time as a war hero. During the day-long function to mark his 58th death anniversary, the army felicitated the late officer's family. Usman was in command of the 50 Independent Para Brigade in 1948, and had defeated a numerically superior Pakistani force in Nowshera, effecting a virtual turnaround in the Jammu and Kashmir campaign. Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee, chief guest at the Martyrdom Day celebrations today, said, 'He was one of the most arresting and spectacular figures of the J-K operations. He was a nationalist to the core and had no problem in remaining loyal to his religion as well as his country. As a war hero, his place in the history of India is secure.'