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Army Chief clarifies that J&K troops thinning only in paramilitary forces

New Delhi, January 15
A day after his comments that were seen as countering the Home Secretary on troop reduction in Jammu and Kashmir, Army Chief General VK Singh today clarified that he was talking about Army personnel while GK Pillai was referring to paramilitary forces.

“I think there was some confusion. What Mr Pillai said was concerning the paramilitary forces. What I was talking of was the Army,” he told reporters here seeking to clear the perception that the two were talking in different voices.

“No person from the Home Ministry will say about the Army as it is under the purview of the Defence Ministry. I am quite sure that the Home Secretary knows about it and talks only about the paramilitary forces,” Singh said.

Pillai had yesterday said the government was planning 25 per cent cut in troops in Kashmir. Hours later, the Army Chief had said, “We have not yet felt that we have to cut down our forces. If they want to cut down paramilitary and police forces, I won't say anything...” This was interpreted by some sections as General Singh countering the Home Secretary.

The Army Chief today noted that any decisions regarding reduction of Army strength in the Valley would be taken by the Unified Headquarters (UHQ), which is headed by the state chief minister.

“Where they (Home Ministry) want to take out people, it is up to them. Whatever input is required, it will be provided by the UHQ. I have got no conflict or argument with anybody on this issue,” General Singh said. — PTI





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