LoC killings will delay Secretary-level talks: India

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SAMBANew Delhi, August 13;India on Tuesday gave a clear indication that killing of five of its soldiers on LoC by the Pakistan Army will delay the India-Pakistan Secretary-level talks, asserting that dialogue can only proceed in an environment free of violence and terror.

It also asked Pakistan to uphold the sanctity of the LoC, saying it was the “most important Confidence Building Measure” between the two countries.

Pakistan should abide by its publicly-articulated commitment made by newly-elected Prime Minister to seek a relationship of peace, friendship and cooperation with India and should not allow its territory to be used against anti-India activities, an External Affairs Ministry spokesperson said.

He was responding to a query on Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind of the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, leading Eid prayers at the famous Gaddafi stadium in Lahore.

Asked about India’s stand over the Pakistani proposal suggesting dates for Secretary-level talks, he said India did receive last month proposals for some Secretary-level dialogue which were to be hosted by Pakistan.

“… For peaceful dialogue to proceed we need an environment free of violence and terror. And certainly what has happened last week doesn’t fit into that. That said there was no timeline for the held definitely to held. We are considering these things and have factored-in all subsequent developments also. We will take a call in due time,” he said.

In its proposal, Pakistan has suggested August 27-28 for the Wullar Barrage meeting between the water and power secretaries and September 16-17 for the Sir Creek maritime boundary issue.

Asserting that India was committed to resolving all outstanding issues with Pakistan through a peaceful bilateral dialogue in an environment free of violence and terror, the spokesperson said, “In the current context and the events of last week we see that the upholding of the sanctity of the LoC is vital.

“It is to us one of the most important CBMs between the two countries. It is vital to uphold the sanctity of the LoC.”

He also added that “unprovoked incidents on the LoC naturally will have the consequences for the bilateral relations.”

His comments come in the backdrop of series of ceasefire violations by Pakistan Army along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir. However, Pakistan Foreign Office had summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Islamabad yesterday to protest “ceasefire violations” by the BSF along the LoC, claiming that it resulted in the death of a civilian at Rawalakot in PoK.

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