Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai on Friday said the Central Government is contemplating reducing the strength of security forces in Jammu and Kashmir by 25 per cent.
Addressing a symposium on the 'Way Forward in Kashmir' organised by the Jamia Millia Islamia University here, Pillai said: "Government of India is hopeful that troops in Jammu and Kashmir might come down by 25 per cent in the next 12 months."
"We have already reduced forces from Srinagar as the presence of security forces should be minimum in populated areas. The local police should be able to handle the situation there," he said.
"We should make sure that all the forces are positioned only at the border, preventing infiltration," he added.
He further said that India is also planning to unilaterally issue six-month multiple entry permits for people of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) wanting to visit Jammu and Kashmir through the LoC.
"We have allowed people from Kashmir and POK to meet for 15 days. We also have a six months multiple entry pass," he added.
He said final recommendations in this regard from the Government-appointed interlocutors are expected by April.
The Central Government had appointed the interlocutors - eminent journalist Dileep Padgaonkar, academician Radha Kumar and economist M M Ansari - in the wake of street protests in Kashmir Valley and police action in which over 100 protesters were killed in 2010.
The interlocutors were tasked with suggesting ways of bringing about sustained peace in the Valley. (ANI)