Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Wednesday suggested a ministerial meeting with her Indian counterpart Salman Khursheed to de-escalate tensions between the two countries over cross-Line of Control (LoC) firings in which soldiers on both sides have been killed.
In a late night statement issued by the Foreign Office, Ms. Khar said: "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 LoC with a view to reinforcing respect for the ceasefire, may be at the level of the Foreign Ministers to sort out things."
Stating that continued tension along the LoC is not in the interest of peace and stability in the region, the Minister said it is imperative that both countries demonstrate requisite responsibility for ensuring peace by addressing all concerns through dialogue. Stating that Pakistan was saddened and disappointed by the string of negative statements emanating from India – both from the media as well as certain Indian leaders – she stressed that rhetoric and ratcheting up of tensions is counter-productive.
The Minister contrasted the discourse in India over the LoC clashes to that in Pakistan which "has observed a measured and deliberate self-restraint in our public statements on India". This, she added, has been done in the interest of peace in the region. "We have invested hugely in the dialogue process and have worked energetically to keep the dialogue process moving forward in a sustained and constructive manner. Pakistan has gone out of the way to build constructive relationship with India."
Partly because of its preoccupation with domestic politics – that has seen events outpace each other – and partly courtesy the "deliberate self-restraint", the media in Pakistan has not whipped up a frenzy over the killing of three Pakistani soldiers due to Indian firing across the LoC. Likewise, barring a couple of short statements condemning the violations, politicians have also been generally silent on the issue.