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No US pressure on demilitarising J&K: Azad

There is no US pressure for demilitarising J&K, Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad asserted on Sunday.

india Updated: Nov 05, 2006 22:55 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

There is no US pressure for demilitarising Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad asserted on Sunday.

"There is no truth in it," he said in a question-answer programme on BBC Radio.

"No one can ask India to do anything. India is a sovereign country. Someone is indulging in rumour mongering. America is not pressuring India on demilitarisation," the chief minister said in reply to a query from a listener.

The questioner had pointed to reports in Pakistani media in the context of a senior US defence official's visit to Kashmir last month.

Azad, who completed his first year in office on Nov 2, said it was the "best year" in terms of peace process as two roundtable conferences were held on Kashmir and incidents of violence showed an overall decline despite two-and-a-half times increase in infiltration from across the border.

He rebuffed the charge that security forces were not respecting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's promise of zero tolerance of human rights violations. "The prime minister's promise is being honoured in letter and spirit," Azad maintained.

"There have been the lowest incidents of custodial killings, custodial disappearances and rapes and molestation by security forces. This year, only one custodial disappearance has taken place as against at least two to three dozens in the previous year," he pointed out.

First Published: Nov 05, 2006 22:55 IST