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Delhi rules out early pullback

June 27, 2002

NEW DELHI, June 26: Ruling out any immediate pullback of troops from the India-Pakistan borders, Deputy Chief of the Army Staff Lt-Gen R S Kadyan on Tuesday said the decision on reduction of troops was to be a “political decision” and would be taken by the country’s leadership at the “appropriate time”.

Denying reports that India is planning to pull back troops from Rajasthan and Punjab sectors, Kadyan asserted there were no such immediate plans.

On the question of “infiltration”, India’s Deputy Chief of Army Staff said: “It is too early to discern whether movement across the LoC has come down.

“We will have to monitor the situation over a period of time before coming to any definitive conclusion”.

However, Gen Kadyan, speaking on the sidelines of a function to flag off the new Indian contingent to the UN peacekeeping mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea, said the army “has plans to re-start some of the vital training courses for which some officers and personnel would be sent back to training institutions.

Declaring that positioning of the troops on the border is a “training in itself”, he ruled out any sizable pullback of officers and personnel from the border for training purposes.—APP