Further ‘Thinning’ of Troop Levels Likely in J&K: NSA

With incidence of violence coming down in Jammu and Kashmir, National Security Advisor MK Narayanan has hinted at the possibility of further reducing military presence in the state.

“If the situation continues to improve, which is apparent at the moment, there is scope for further reduction of troops,” Narayanan said.

He made the statement in response to a query as to whether the government plans to review Army deployment in Jammu and Kashmir.

Of late, both Defence Minister AK Antony and Home Minister P Chidambaram have highlighted the ‘significant reduction’ in troop levels over past few years. While 30,000 troops have been withdrawn from the valley, the Home Ministry has also rationalized paramilitary presence in the state over the past couple of years.

Reports said that there have been gradual ‘thinning’ of troop levels in Jammu and Kashmir and betterment in situation could result in further reduction but at the same time an ‘irreducible minimum’ number of troops will have to remain deployed there.

The reduction in number of violence incidence that has prompted the fresh move to bring down force levels in the state has been 25 percent as compared to 2008.

According to security agencies, there has been an increase in infiltration but the overall capabilities of militant outfits have diminished in the past year.

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