Decision on troop reduction in Kashmir after summer: Army chief

April 18th, 2009 - 4:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban New Delhi, April 18 (IANS) The Indian Army chief Saturday said that any decision on troop reduction in Jammu and Kashmir will be taken after this summer.
“It is premature to talk about troop reduction in Kashmir… this summer is crucial to decide whether troop levels in Kashmir can be reduced,” Kapoor told the NDTV news channel.

There has been a rise in militant activity in the Kashmir valley with the Lok Sabha elections commencing across the country.

On the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), Kapoor said: “Armed Forces Special Powers Act is needed to protect the troops legally.”

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has sought repeal of the AFSPA and the central government has assured him the act will be reviewed after the elections.

The army chief also asserted that the force was ready to deal with Taliban if the need arises.

“Over 45 percent infiltrators are foreigners. If Taliban decided to come, Indian Army is capable of tackling them. Taliban is a philosophy, it does not make them any better fighters than those of the LeT (Lashkar-e-Taiba), Jaish (-e-Mohammad) or Hizbul (Mujahideen) groups that the army has tackled so far,” said Kapoor.

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