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PDP asks for demilitarisation in J&K
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February 26, 2007 16:22 IST

Demanding demilitarisation in Jammu and Kashmir, People's Democratic Party said on Monday that troops reduction and revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act were the need of the hour in keeping with the changing ground situation in the state.

The ground situation in Jammu and Kashmir had 'changed enough' over the past four years, which warranted reduction of army and other security force personnel and revocation of the special powers given to them, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti told reporters.

She said there was no need to maintain such a large presence of security forces in the state to contain the remaining militants, whose 'numbers vary from 1,500 to 2,000'.

Asked about the party's course of action if their demand was not met, the Lok Sabha MP from Anantnag said the Centre cannot 'summarily dismiss this demand like it did with the autonomy resolution passed by the state legislature in 2000'.

"This is what the situation of the state requires. The Army is normally called out in emergency or in case of communal riots and their success is measured by how soon they go back to their barracks. The time has now come for them to go back to the barracks," Mehbooba said.

The PDP chief said security forces have done a 'good job' in tackling militancy in the state but if anybody thinks it was done by the forces alone, that would be a 'grave mistake'.

The 'healing touch' policy of the coalition government and other confidence-building measures have also played a key role, she said.

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