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Pak foreign minister Khar accuses India of warmongering

Last updated on: January 16, 2013 09:40 IST

Pak foreign minister Khar accuses India of warmongering

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Suman Mozumder

Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbami Khar holds India responsible for the tensions between the two countries following the border incident and says statements coming from the Indian government were disappointing. Suman Mozumder reports

Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbami Khar on Tuesday accused India of warmongering in the wake of incidents last week across the Line of Control in which two Indian soldiers were killed, including one who was beheaded.

'We see three incidents across the LOC and we see war mongering (by India) which in the last 60 years have been etched in our memories -- war- mongering coming from the other side of the border which, I thought were things of yesteryear. I am proud of the fact that in Pakistan we remained committed, even when the first incident took place, to following mechanisms which remain at our disposal and which have been created to solve these kind of problems,' Khar said in response to a question at the Asia Society after making a brief speech titled The Democratic Journey of Pakistan.

Holding New Delhi responsible for the recent tensions between the two countries following the border incident, she said that the statements coming from the Indian government are disappointing.

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Image: Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbami Khar at the Asia Society meet in NYC
Photographs: Paresh Gandhi/Rediff.com

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'Pak deeply disappointed with India'

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 'As I read statements coming from the highest levels of Indian government, I can say that we in Pakistan are deeply disappointed. We feel that the dialogue processes should be uninterrupted and today also the dialogue process offers an opportunity to deal and this and many other crises. We must not close the door on dialogue and I offer to get back to resolve these at any political level that is required.'

'That is what mature countries should do, countries with responsibilities to their people should be able to do,' the minister said.

Khar claimed that Islamabad lodged a formal protest with India after Indian soldiers infiltrated into Pakistan territory on January 6. On January 8, she said, New Delhi claimed that two of their soldiers were brutally murdered. A quick inquiry within 24 hours in Pakistan established that no such beheading of an Indian soldier took place and that this was conveyed to India through proper mechanism, said Khar.

'What we saw from India was a statement saying that a proportionate response would be given. We see (statements) India has capacity and capability to (make that response), we see warmongering and we saw that proportionate response on January 8 when a Pakistani habildar was almost target-shot by Indian soldiers,' Khar claimed.

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'Islamabad keeping to the path of peace and dialogue'

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Khar said that countries with a history of hostilities, conflict 'and narratives of hospitality' between them know that this is not the way to go, alluding to New Delhi's strong reaction and protests to the border incidents. She claimed that Islamabad is keeping to the path of peace and dialogue. 'I am happy that Pakistan is not upping the ante and we are not responding in kind either by words or by action,' Khar said.

'I want to reiterate Pakistan's deepest commitment to normalising relations with India and all our neighbours and let our people enjoy the dividends of peaceful coexistence because if I harm my neighbours, I am eventually harming myself. In south Asia we have to learn to wear the regional lens and the moment we do that we have stakes. The fact that we went in an unprecedented way for trade normalisation with India shows that we have consensus and support for normalising relations with India, she said.

'We are deeply committed to normalising relations with all our neighbours, including India and we have given that message in the past even at the cost of some great political risks at home', the minister said.




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