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India downplays remark of Pak envoy on LoC killings

January 21, 2013 15:19 IST
India on Monday sought to downplay a remark of the Pakistan's remark envoy on the killing of Indian soldiers on the Line of Control, saying the two sides can move forward in a "sensible way" once the "dust settles".

"I think it is important that we let little time go by so that the dust, as it was, settles. Then in a sensible and calibrated manner we can move forward," External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid told reporters. He was asked to comment on the reported statement of Pakistan High Commissioner Salman Bashir on the killing of soldiers on the Line of Control LoC in Jammu and Kashmir. At present, Khurshid said the situation on the Line of Control was "a lot better than it was a few days back". "I would simply say, we should not react to every statement. I don't think that every statement made in the domestic context should necessarily be treated as the last word," Khurshid said.

On Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar's reported offer for minister-level talks to reduce tensions, Khurshid said the media statement cannot be described as an offer. "Well clearly it can't be described as an offer. I think there were suggestions on how to move forward and the possibility that it could be done one way or the other. And of course the suggestion came through the media," he said. Khar's remark had come in the backdrop of Bashir's suggestion for a UN probe into the killing of soldiers.

Khurshid said these were matters where entire atmospherics and entire context need to be carefully studied and analysed from time to time before taking any further steps. "We have already said that we believe moving from any attempt to suggest third party intervention to bilateral interface is a positive signal," Khurshid said. "The fact is that things have been quiet on the Line of Control. The fact that our DGMOs (Directors-General of Military Operations) have been in touch in a meaningful way, I would think that this is a welcome shift in the right direction," he said.

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