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'No proposal of any demilitarisation in Valley'

Defence Minister AK Antony says there will be no troop withdrawal for now as the two Central committees are assessing the situation.

india Updated: Jun 18, 2007 16:28 IST

Ruling out demilitarisation and troop reduction in Jammu and Kashmir, Defence Minister AK Antony on Monday said the two committees constituted by the Centre were assessing the situation about the reconfiguration of security forces in the militancy-hit state.

"The two committees are functioning. They are assessing the situation. Whatever decision has to be taken will depend on professional advice ... As of now there is no proposal of demilitarisation," Antony told reporters on the sidelines of the inaugural day of the two-day conference of Unified Commander's-in-Chief Conference in New Delhi.

The statement of Antony could further distance Congress from its ally PDP, which has been holding rallies across the valley demanding troop reduction and withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act.

The Centre had constituted two expert panels to go into the issues. One is headed by Defence Secretary Shekhar Dutt, which is carrying out an in depth assessment of the situation.

The second panel will undertake a review of AFSPA to different areas of the state and would conform to legal requirements for a periodic review of the Act.

These two panels would be submitting recommendations to a "High Power Committee" headed by the Defence Minister which would comprise representatives of the Central and state governments and would be empowered to take decisions on the recommendations made by the the two panels.

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