Srinagar: Home Secretary Gopal K Pillaiâ€™s statement that India would reduce its troop strength in Kashmir by 25 percent Friday evoked mixed response from the Hurriyat factions.
The Mirwaiz Umar Farooq-led Hurriyat, which has been demanding phased withdrawal of troops from towns and cities as one of the confidence building measures to improve the situation in Kashmir welcomed the Pillaiâ€™s statement as a â€œpositive development.â€
Â â€œItâ€™s a positive development. We have already put forth phased withdrawal of troops from towns and cities as one of confidence building measures before the government of India for improving the ground situation and creating conducive atmosphere for dialogue,â€ Hurriyat (M) chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq told a Friday gathering at Jamia Masjid today.
However, Geelani while rejecting the proposed troop-cut as â€œpatchworkâ€ said his led Hurriyat was resolute on its earlier demand of â€œcomplete demilitarization.â€
Â â€œThese so called troop cuts are not going to improve the ground situation. We are seeing the level of gross human rights violations taking place under the Indian occupation. The Indian forces are occupying 28 Lakh Kanals of our land, wiping out forests and unleashing a reign of terror on the local population. Unless complete demilitarization doesnâ€™t take place there will be no peace, no conducive atmosphere for talks, and our life, property, and dignity would continue to remain under threat,â€ Geelani told.