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India to reduce troops in J&K

A Govt official said withdrawal of troops, numbering 15,000, would take place in phases, but he gave no details.

india Updated: Feb 06, 2006 12:25 IST

India said on Monday it would withdraw 15,000 troops from the restive state of Jammu and Kashmir, in a move seen as bolstering a slow-moving peace process with Pakistan.

A government official, who declined to be named, said the troop withdrawal would take place in phases, but gave no more details.

An estimated half-a-million soldiers are based in the Himalayan state, many of them fighting Islamic militants opposed to New Delhi's rule there.

New Delhi had earlier rejected proposals made by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to demilitarise three Indian Kashmir cities in an attempt to push talks over the issue.

While the two countries have strengthened transport, cultural and sporting links since starting the peace process two years ago, they have made little headway on tackling the Kashmir issue.

First Published: Feb 06, 2006 11:49 IST