India to pull 10,000 troops from Kashmir | Pakistan Today

India to pull 10,000 troops from Kashmir

NEW DELHI – India plans to withdraw 10,000 paramilitary troops from Indian-held Kashmir (IHK) in 2011 and renew efforts to hold talks in the rebellion-hit region, a top government official said on Sunday. A separatist insurgency has raged in IHK, and at least 114 people died in street protests last summer in pitched battles with security forces.
“I think this year we can easily take out 10 battalions (10,000 personnel), if not more,” Indian Home Secretary Gopal Pillai said. “Irrespective of the situation, I can take out 10 battalions and it would not have any impact.” There are currently 70,000 paramilitary troops in IHK plus 100,000-150,000 army soldiers. Many state politicians believe their huge presence has fuelled recent deadly violence.
“There are more than adequate forces in Kashmir and it can do with less central forces,” Pillai said. “You have to start talking to other people and get fresh ideas so I think we have to reach out to the people of Kashmir.”

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