A day after the Union Government announced it is considering reducing the strength of security forces deployed in Jammu and Kashmir, the Army on Saturday said that the present situation in the state does not allow cut down of troops and the decision should be reconsidered.
"Present situation in Kashmir does not allow cut down of troops and it should be reconsidered," General Officer Commanding in Chief Northern Command (GOC-in-C), Lt Gen K T Parnaik told reporters at Akhnoor, 35 kms from Jammu.
"The situation at present is not conducive for withdrawal of troops... It's a very dynamic process you have peace somewhere, you have instability somewhere else and this situation keeps on changing. I don't think it is right time for us to think of troop reduction as of now," he said after attending an official function at Akhnoor.
On Friday in Delhi, Home Secretary Gopal K Pillai had said that the Central Government is considering reducing the strength of security forces deployed in Jammu and Kashmir by 25% as a confidence building measure.
In reply to the question of Armed Forces Special Powers Act, Gen Parnaik said, "I think Armed Forces Special Powers Act is important for us. Army is here (J&K) and doing a very tough task. And it is important that they (Army) must have some protection when working in hostile conditions."
Keeping in view the present situation in Kashmir, AFSPA must stay as it is must for the Army, he said, adding that the Army is firm on its stand over AFSPA.
Gen Parnaik said revocation of AFSPA must be done following situation on the ground as it keeps changing.
"AFSPA gives protection to the forces. Already a committee was framed to discuss AFSPA but in my opinion it is necessary," he said.