India refuses Pak offer to demilitarise J&K | india | Hindustan Times
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India refuses Pak offer to demilitarise J&K

Pakistan has repeatedly suggested that India reduce troop levels in Kashmir in order to help the Muslim insurgency die out

india Updated: Apr 27, 2006 20:18 IST

India on Thursday rejected a Pakistani proposal for demilitarisation of Kashmir, saying it was its own "sovereign right" to decide such matters.

Speaking to reporters after talks on confidence-building measures, Tariq Osman Haider, head of the Pakistani delegation, said Islamabad had made "serious and sincere" proposals to re-deploy strike troops and heavy weapons outside the Himalayan region.

"That is a major confidence-building measure we have proposed," he said.

Dilip Sinha, a senior official in the Indian Ministry for External Affairs, said India had made its "position quite clear, that the deployment of forces in any part of India is a sovereign right of the country and is taken in conjunction with the security situation".

Pakistan has repeatedly suggested that India reduce troop levels in Kashmir in order to help the Muslim insurgency die out, but India insists it will decide its own troop deployment without Pakistani advice.

But despite differences over troop re-deployment, the two sides agreed not to set up new posts along the militarised control line dividing the region.

India has accused Pakistan of fuelling the Kashmir conflict.

Islamabad denies the charge, saying it merely gives diplomatic and moral support to what it calls "Kashmiri freedom fighters".