Expert Panel Suggests J&K Troop 'relocation'
10 September 2007
The Times of India
New Delhi: While the government has already ruled out any large-scale troop reduction from Jammu and Kashmir at this stage, an 'expert panel' has recommended 'relocation and reconfiguration' of forces in the terrorism-hit state to make them 'less obtrusive' and ease the lives of civilians there. In its report presented to national security advisor M K Narayanan, the expert panel headed by defence secretary Vijay Singh has held that 'inconvenience' to the general public in J&K should be avoided as far as possible, especially during cordon- and-search operations, said sources. Giving in to persistent demands for a troop-cut in J&K by Mufti Mohammed Sayeed of People's Democratic Party, a coalition partner of the Congress in the state government, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had in March announced the setting of the expert panel as well as two high-powered committees to examine the situation.