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Updated: January 13, 2013 01:06 IST

We think this will pass but concerns remain: Khurshid

Vaiju Naravane
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External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid.
The Hindu Photo Library
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid.

‘There are understandable calls for strong action. We hope Pakistan will be more responsive to our cautious approach’

India’s External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, responding to questions on the recent skirmishes along the LoC, said: “Yes, there has been escalation in the past 24 hours. The news is not good. It is distinctly bad — there’s been some disquiet about ceasefire violations and the steps that Pakistan has taken including ceasing border trade in one place.”

In an exclusive interview to The Hindu, the foreign minister, who was on a two-day visit to France, also said he felt the Indian and Pakistani governments had the capacity to overcome the present crisis: “We think this will pass. We think that we have enough arrangements in place between the Pakistanis and ourselves to counter these issues. But our main and burning concern is what happened to our men. The mutilation and beheading that took place is tragic, unfortunate, inhuman, and we think there should be some clarity, some truth that must be brought out. Even if you have to think of reconciliation, it must come after the truth is brought out. That is important, and we haven’t heard anything very helpful as far as that is concerned.”

Truth a necessary ingredient

Mr. Khurshid said India will continue to make efforts to get to the bottom of the matter and that truth was a necessary ingredient of any reconciliation. “I think we have tried and we will continue to try to contain emotions to ensure that the matter does not escalate beyond any reasonable limits. There are understandable calls for strong action on the part of India. We are hoping the other side will be more responsive to our cautious approach despite public pressure and we would certainly urge the Pakistanis to respond. There are various ways and levels at which ceasefire violations or the stopping of trade or movement of people can be treated but our major concern is the treatment of our soldiers and on that we have received no substantial response so far.”

Mr. Khurshid reiterated his earlier remarks on the question of Kashmir saying the mutilation of two Indian soldiers in Kashmir was “extremely shocking and unacceptable, even barbaric.”

No U.N. intervention

He said he was perplexed that such a shocking and horrible act should be committed and that too now when Indo-Pakistan relations were on the mend.

“This incident is despicable and shocking and cannot but be described as barbaric. Whether the other side accepts responsibility is another matter but nothing is being achieved through such acts. We are demanding redress and we want transparency and accountability. We wish to be moderate in our response but at the same time we are determined to get answers. And howsoever Pakistan tries to bring this matter to the international fora, India will refuse any UN intervention in the matter.”

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@Tarun
The incidents on LoC happen all the times. This isn't over a old lady. I wish people would spend some time to understand the issue.
The incident with old lady showed deficiencies in the border control - deficiencies that will be definitely used by the terrorists. No wonder India wants to plug it while Pakistan doesn't that.

from:  Hemant
Posted on: Jan 14, 2013 at 01:14 IST

This was the person who said "Let Arvind Kejriwal enter my constituency. But he will not leave from there". How I wish he showed the same anger towards such atrocities.

from:  karthik G
Posted on: Jan 13, 2013 at 17:14 IST

Mr.Kurshid Again needs clarity and proof. He is an eminent lawyer . So he will think only in that way .Even if he is striving hard in his life to find the clarity and proof who had mutilated the body of jawan he won't find any answer of it .He knows very well that Pak is not our well wisher. They are giving training to terrorist to attack India. Not only that they had many times violated the law of loc. and peace agreement. Then how can we believe this minister is also the well wisher of India

from:  Balachandra Prabhu.A
Posted on: Jan 13, 2013 at 13:17 IST

That's the problem with us. We only urge and demand but do not compel
them to act. It has become very humiliating for Indian Army to perform
their duty under such conditions where there companions are being
mutilated and beheaded and the top leadership finish its job by
describing the incident despicable, shocking and barbaric. They say
that War is not a solution. True, but do you have any solution? More
than 4 years have passed of Mumbai Attacks and our govt is happy by
only executing Kasab. What about the main perpetrators of the attack?
Will they be ever bring in the court of law? Will you be ever succeed
to provide justice to the victims? I don't think so. Our govt's wait-
politics is the biggest problem. This-will-pass attitude is hampering
the image of the country in world community and the reliability of the
system in the common people.

from:  Sudhanshu Shekhar Singh
Posted on: Jan 13, 2013 at 13:12 IST

We dont understand that why the Peace Process is more imposrtant to India than to Pakistan. How can we be in Peace if our soldiers are gunned down on our soil without reasons. Now we should learn to respond loud and prompt. Because whenever such incidence happens India always loose cruicial time giving warnings to Pak which are never taken seriously.

from:  Amol G.
Posted on: Jan 13, 2013 at 12:43 IST

Mr Khurshid, why do have reactionaries in our midst who demand war over a granny crossing a border?

from:  Tarun Das
Posted on: Jan 13, 2013 at 10:45 IST

Our External Affaires Minister Mr. Kurshid's statements are emblematic of what has
come out of UPA-II as a response to LOC barbarism. It is full of indecision and pious
wishes. It is an unwillingness to face the facts squarely, which are that the Pakistani
Military establishment is simply not interested in securing a genuine peace with
India. It is high time to get their head and eyes out of the sand and face the grim
realities, instead of constantly muttering ifs, buts and maybes!

from:  G Parameswaran
Posted on: Jan 13, 2013 at 04:37 IST
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