Talks Between Ministers Do Not Happen In Rush: Salman Khurshid


New Delhi, Jan 17: India does not favour talks between the Foreign Ministers to ease Indo-Pak tensions along the Line of Control (LoC) as proposed by Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar.
Unenthusiastic about Khar's offer for a “discussion and dialogue” with him, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said here that direct talks between ministers do not happen in a rush. On future course of action by India, Khurshid said, “Let us not rush into the matter and (let us) move step by step.”
Meanwhile, Khurshid and Defence Minister A K Antony briefed the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, on the situation arising out of the January 8 incident in which two Indian soldiers were killed, one of them allegedly beheaded by Pakistani troops.
Khurshid is also understood to have told the meeting that Pakistan has indicated scaling down of its stand by wanting bilateral talks instead of its earlier demand for a UN probe into the incident.
It is learnt that though the issue came up for discussion at the Cabinet meeting, nothing much transpired on the possibility of the ministerial level talks.
Sources say India would first use its diplomatic channels to find out as to what Pakistan wants to discuss and that though it favours engagement, talks might not happen at the ministerial level at all for now. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has made it clear to Pakistan that those who mutilated the bodies of Indian soldiers last week, beheading one of them, must be brought to book first.
Khurshid reportedly informed the Cabinet that it was on account of the sustained pressure from this side that Pakistan was forced to change its stand and has desisted from internationalizing the issue by seeking a third party intervention in the form of UN probe.
Defence Minister A K Antony said tensions have eased on the LoC since the talks between the Director Generals of Military Operations of India and Pakistan yesterday. He is learnt to have told the meeting that the ceasefire has been holding since yesterday and there has been de-escalation of tensions. The DGMOs of India and Pakistan had yesterday agreed not to allow escalation of tensions along the LoC.
He reportedly also pointed out that Pakistan had only spoken through the media so far and India would decide on any dialogue only after a formal offer from Pakistan's diplomatic channels.

Lastupdate on : Thu, 17 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 17 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 18 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST

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