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'Infiltration into J&K has doubled'

J&K Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad says Pakistani infiltration into Jammu and Kashmir has doubled this year.

india Updated: Nov 05, 2006 14:20 IST

Pakistani infiltration into Jammu and Kashmir has doubled this year, according to the state Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad who has, consequently, ruled out reduction of troops.

An estimated 500 Pakistani infiltrators have crossed into the state in the first 10 months of this year, he said in New Delhi, recalling that in the corresponding period last year the figure was less than 200.

Firmly rejecting a Pakistani suggestion for reduction of troops in the state, the Chief Minister made it clear that innocent people could not be left at the mercy of terrorists.

Azad, who has just completed one year in office, dismissed President Pervez Musharraf's proposal for self-rule for both parts of the state, saying that the Pakistani ruler was himself not sure of what he was talking about.

"I dont think he (Musharraf) himself is very sure about it...We really have self-rule. We have our own Constitution, flag and elected representatives. What else is self rule."

Azad wondered that the suggestion was coming "from a General, a dictator, telling to another state that you (have) the democracy. We have democracy and there is no democracy (across the border)."

On the self-rule issue being advocated by his alliance partner PDP, whose patron Mufti Mohammed Sayeed was away in New York attending the United Nations General Assembly, Azad said there were proper fora formed after the Second Roundtable Conference chaired by Prime Minister for raising these matters.

"We do not find any reason why they should be going around and making such demands. I do not think this will lead us to any solution. If somebody is really interested, he or she can come to the table rather than going around," Azad said.

First Published: Nov 05, 2006 12:48 IST