The Indian Home Secretary’s statement regarding 25% reduction in the number of military troops in Indian Held Kashmir proved nothing more than a superfluous political stunt to deviate pressure in the wake of the ongoing visit of the UN’s top human rights official to India. Pertinent circles in the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) and United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) are clueless about any proposed "reduction" in the number of military troops in Indian Kashmir as stated by Indian Home Secretary GK Pillai.
Telephonic discussions with the officials of these UN bodies in Geneva and New Delhi during last couple of days confirmed that the UN was not officially communicated about any proposed plan regarding 25% troops’ withdrawal from the occupied valley in a year. It is worth recalling here that the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Margaret Sekaggya, started her first fact-finding visit on Monday last week. Her eleven-day visit would focus on the human rights situation in West Bengal, Gujarat, Indian Kashmir and Orissa.
According to the UN-based sources, the UN official reportedly visited Gujarat and Indian-held Kashmir last week and expressed serious concerns over human rights situation in these states. The official had also reportedly conveyed the concerns of UN Human Rights Commissioner Navanethem Pillay regarding violent crackdowns on youth and continuous house arrests of the political leaderships, to the Indian government. In order to deviate pressure, the Indian government, in its response, reportedly assured the UN Special Rapporteur, Margaret Sekaggya, that the Indian government was mulling over partial troops’ withdrawal from Occupied Kashmir, Gujarat and Orissa by the next year while it would consider troops’ reduction in West Bengal by 2013.