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Pakistan offers talks with India to de-escalate tensions
Publication Date : 17-01-2013
As India and Pakistan agreed to de-escalate the situation along the border, Islamabad yesterday offered to hold talks with New Delhi to address concerns related to the LoC and to reinforce a nine-year-old ceasefire, saying any increase in tensions would be counter-productive.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, who had earlier accused India of engaging in war-mongering, offered to hold talks with her Indian counterpart Salman Khurshid to address concerns related to the Line of Control and to reinforce the ceasefire that had been in operation since 2003.
“Instead of issuing belligerent statements by the military and political leaders from across the border and ratcheting up tension, it is advisable for the two countries to discuss all concerns related to the LoC with a view to reinforcing respect for the ceasefire, may be at the level of the Foreign Ministers, to sort out things,” Khar said in a statement yesterday.
A string of violations of the ceasefire along the 742-km LoC over the past 10 days have left two Indian and three Pakistani soldiers dead.
Earlier in the day, the Directors General of Military Operations of the two sides spoke on a hotline and "agreed on the need to reduce tension on the LoC”, a Pakistani military statement said.
Pakistani DGMO, Major General Ashfaq Nadeem Ahmed told his Indian counterpart Lt-General Vinod Bhatia that his troops have been asked to exercise restraint and that there would be an understanding that no move would be made to allow the situation to escalate, Army sources said in New Delhi. In Islamabad, state-run Pakistan Radio claimed the country's DGMO also lodged a strong protest with his Indian counterpart over the killing of a Pakistani soldier.
Pakistan, Ms Khar said, was “saddened and disappointed at the continued negative statements emanating from India both from the media as well as certain Indian leaders”.
Islamabad had observed a “measured and deliberate self-restraint” in its public statements on India in the interest of peace in the region, he said.