Troop Reduction Issue In J&K To Be Tackled After Summer: Army Chief

12 June 2009
The Hindu

New Delhi: The Army on Friday said the question of troop reduction in Jammu and Kashmir would be 'tackled' after seeing the trends in the situation during the summer and the Amarnath Yatra. 'We need to go through the Amarnath Yatra, which is supposed to be starting shortly and the summer season because the snow is melting and the passes are going to be open. The chances of infiltration going up are very much there, especially since a number of (terror) camps are existing on the other side of the LoC. 'After we see the trends this summer season and post the Amarnath Yatra, your question would be tackled at that point of time,' Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor said here when asked if the improving conditions in the state were good enough for reducing troop levels there. Gen. Kapoor said the decision to withdraw the Army from the State would be taken by the political leadership of the country after assessing the situation there. 'As the situation improves gradually, as and when the political authority feels that the Army should be withdrawn, it may be withdrawn and it depends on the assessment by the political authority of situation,' he said. When asked if the alleged incidents of human rights violations in Kashmir are used to tarnish the Army's image, Gen. Kapoor said, 'We recognise the unwanted elements behind terrorism in Kashmir. They will try to utilise each and every incident to level allegations against the security forces but whenever allegations of human rights violations are levelled against our security forces, we investigate them and if any violation is found, disciplinary action is initiated.' On reports about India's plans to deploy additional troops in Arunachal Pradesh, the Army chief said, 'We have no plans of deployment of additional troops immediately. We will look at it as and when the situation develops.' He added that infrastructure was being developed in the Northeastern region to ensure that the country is in a position to meet any kind of challenges in that region. On the comparative trials between the Arjun and the T-90 tanks, the Army chief said, 'the Arjun tank has been just delivered to the Army. It would take around three to four months before the regiments are fully operationalised. Once it is fully operationalised, we will carry out comparative trials between the Arjun and the T-90 and then evaluation will be done before going further.'