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Indian Defence Minister Defends Kashmir Withdrawal

Indian Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Jan. 18 defended the decision to cut the number of troops in Kashmir, saying the level of rebel infiltration did not warrant army reinforcements.
“The decision (to pull back troops) was taken in the context of a particular situation. It is always subject to review,” Mukherjee told reporters in New Delhi. “If the number of infiltrators (into Kashmir) increases or the situation deteriorates, of course there will be a review of this decision.”
India has not specified how many troops have been pulled out since announcing the move in November.

A first batch of 1,000 paratroopers pulled out of Indian Kashmir on Nov. 17, during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s maiden visit there.

India, which holds two-thirds of the Muslim-majority region, accuses Pakistan of arming rebels and helping them cross the de facto border, the Line of Control. Pakistan denies the charge and says it is doing its best to stop infiltration.

Indian army officials say infiltration has fallen considerably since the two countries launched a peace process a year ago. They add that the building of a fence with hi-tech surveillance has also helped cut infiltration — a view Mukherjee repeated Jan. 18.

The minister told reporters that a recent spurt in rebel attacks in Kashmir “are not enough reason” to send troops back to the region. “They (attacks) are also not due to troop reduction.”
In recent weeks, Islamic militants have killed two senior political figures, bombed an election rally killing two and injuring a dozen, raided the federal income tax and passport offices and targeted several security patrols.

More than 40,000 people have been killed in Kashmir since the outbreak of an anti-India rebellion in 1989. Separatists put the toll at twice that number.


Posted by Nikhil Khanna @ 2:30 AM


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This blog focuses on current issues concerning defense and national security for the world's largest democracy - India. It is updated regularly providing readers with in-depth information on technology transfer, acquisitions, counter-terrorism, security and military collaboration and strategic dialogue between India and the United States. The site includes links to top defense policy & research institutes, think-tanks, military sites and research organizations.
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Nikhil and Jehangir wrote an exhaustive article about the Cooperative Cope Thunder joint event. Their article was publihed in Vayu magazine. Click on the link below to read the in-depth article with amazing pictures courtesy of mark Farmer at
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