Tarigami terms committee 'face-saving' step
31 March 2007
New Delhi: The decision to set up expert panels to address the issue of reduction and withdrawal of security forces from Jammu and Kashmir was just a 'political face-saving' measure, State secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) Mohammed Tarigami has said. He reiterated the demand for a gradual reduction of forces and creation of peace zones. In a statement here on Saturday, Mr. Tarigami said the decision to constitute expert panels was nothing more than 'a rigmarole.' The committees had been asked to merely determine the need to relocate and reconfigure the security forces and not to consider any cut in their size. These left no room for any initiative by the committee members and ruled out any people- friendly change in the existing positions. 'The State CPI (M) understands that this would only strengthen the long-held public impression in the State that the Centre is not interested in taking any meaningful measures to address the genuine aspirations of the suffering people,' Mr. Tarigami said. The State Government should gradually reduce the 'disproportionately excessive number of forces' and identify appropriate areas as 'peace zones,' from where Central forces should be withdrawn. These areas should be put under the control of the local police, and gradually such areas should be extended.