No Immediate Plan To Withdraw Troops From J&K, Says Government
The Centre, which had made Jammu & Kashmir a union territory, has no immediate plans to withdraw security forces from the troubled region in view of the continued tension, Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said on Wednesday.
"Why will we withdraw troops (security forces) immediately from there when Pakistan is trying to provoke. Pakistan was trying to provoke Kashmirs and disturb the peace so that it can go to international community (to complain). The decision whether to withdraw or not will be taken by the local administration”, Reddy told PTI.
He said the situation in J&K is peaceful now and the Home Minister Amit Shah is regularly monitoring the situation. “Schools are open. In some places section 144 has been withdrawn. Government offices have started working. We are gradually relaxing some of the controls imposed. Internet and telephone services have been restored barring a few districts (four or five)," he said.
Opposition leaders should wait for some days to hold meetings in J&K as the Centre has imposed certain restrictions in view of Pakistan's intentions to see law and order is disturbed there, Reddy said. Pakistan would like to see peace disturbed in J&K to tell the world that the government of India's decisions vis-a-vis the state are wrong, he added.
Asked for his comments on the situation in J&K and the reports of violence, he said, "small incidents" are not happening for the first time. Now, there is no "tense situation in Jammu & Kashmir" where there used to be months-long curfew with leaders jailed for years in the past as well, he said. "This is not new. We took some decisions such as imposing restrictions as a precautionary measure, keeping in view Pakistan's attempts to provoke and conspire to somehow disturb law and order in Jammu & Kashmir. Certainly not to inconvenience people," he told reporters on the sidelines of an event.
In the past, there had been many instances of imposition of curfew, enforcement of prohibitory orders, closure of schools for months and arrest of Chief Ministers, he said. Compared to the past, no such decisions have been taken now, he said.
"Pakistan is hatching many conspiracies to prove before the world what the government of India has done is wrong. Because today the whole world is in favour of India. Because the world is standing by the decisions taken by the government of India in the matter of abrogation of Article 370," he said.
The government is taking all precautionary measures as either the ISI or Pakistan government was trying to somehow disturb law and order "to prove that what the government of India has done is wrong", he said.
Asked why opposition leaders were not being allowed to hold meetings in the state, he said government has taken precautions in view of Pakistan's intentions and the opposition leaders should have patience.
"There is a lot of time. You can go to J&K. Hold peace for some days. Let's see Pakistan's problem now. After that, Rahul Gandhi can hold any number of meetings. Who is saying no? Have patience," he said.
The abrogation of Article 370 would have benefits like implementation of the Constitution and reservations for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Backward Classes coming into force in the state, he said.
"Why are you in a hurry? On the one hand, Pakistan is making efforts to tell the world that there is no peace. Now, the opposition party also wants to go with Pakistan. This is wrong," he said.
Asked when political leaders would be released in J&K and the appropriate time, he said officers concerned would take a call on the matter.