Image: Reducing Army presence in J-K govt's prerogative says Farooq Abdullah
Farooq Abdullah, the former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir said on Monday that reducing the presence of the army in the Union Territory was a prerogative of the government. While interacting with the media at the headquarters of the National Conference, he said, "That is a matter for the government. How much they will reduce or increase is their prerogative. I have no say in it."
The National Conference president was responding to questions about a media report which claimed that the government is planning to reduce the army footprint from the hinterland in Kashmir in a phased manner.
Speaking on the government's reported decision to "halt" the demolition drive in the Union Territory, Abdullah said, "It was due to the opposition of the people." "This has happened because of the noise made by the people. If people had not made noise, they would have intensified the drive. People should remember that they have the power to shake the government."
The reactions by the political leader comes after a proposal to remove the Indian Army from the Valley, three and a half years after the Centre removed the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir amid the deployment of large additional troops. As per the officials, the proposal of withdrawing the Army from Kashmir hinterland has been under consideration for the last two years and is at an "advanced stage", now with the involvement of Ministry of Defence, Union Ministry of Home Affairs, armed forces and the J&K police.