Ahead of EU meeting, India says it plans on reducing troops in IoK

Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. – File Photo

Ahead of a European Parliament meeting to discuss the military curfew in Indian-Occupied Kashmir, Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said that the Indian government was planning to reduce the number of troops posted in the occupied valley. 

In an interview with the European edition of American news, Jaishankar appeared increasingly uncomfortable with the questions posed on the situation in IoK, and revealed that New Delhi planned on releasing the restrictions imposed in IoK progressively. 

“In the coming days you will see an easing up progressively. This should involve a reduction in the number of extra security forces [who were brought into the disputed region],” he was quoted as saying by media. 

Jaishankar also insisted that he wanted police to be sent back to their original duties soon. “Frankly they have other jobs and other things to do,” he said brazenly, side-stepping the question as to why they had been posted in the valley in such huge numbers in the first place. 

Earlier in August, the government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had revoked the constitutional autonomy of IoK through a presidential decree and imposed a military curfew in the occupied valley to widespread international condemnation. 

Hundreds of thousands of additional troops were deployed in the IoK and a communications blackout enforced. Thousands of Kashmiri leaders, civil activists, businessmen, and other ordinary citizens were arrested. Reports suggest these detainees have been severely tortured in custody.  

However, Jaishankar ignored commenting on the grave human rights situation in the valley, instead arguing that the communications lock-down was in place to stop militants from contacting one another, and tried to portray the situation in the valley as ‘unique’ from other disputes. 

The European Parliament is scheduled to discuss the alarming situation in IoK on Monday afternoon during a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Committee. Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Raja Farooq Haider Khan will represent Pakistan on the occasion.