Pak swears by non-escalation


Islamabad, Jan 22: Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar Tuesday said that Islamabad will stick to a policy of non-escalation with India in the wake of increased tensions over a string of ceasefire violations along the LoC.
In the face of a call from Leader of Opposition Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan for a “befitting” response to “propaganda from the Indian government” over the ceasefire violations, Khar reiterated her government’s “commitment not to escalate the situation.”
Pakistan is striving to normalize the situation and the government was not “delusional” about the challenges to the country’s sovereignty, she told the National Assembly or lower house of Parliament late last night.
The government had resorted to available mechanisms to address the ceasefire violations on the LoC, she said. “Pakistan acted responsibly. We suggested engaging the UN Military Observers Group (for India and Pakistan) for a third party probe,” Khar told the House in a policy statement on the situation on the LoC.
Khar said India had “provoked the situation” but Pakistan showed a responsible attitude.
Khar said the situation needs to be de-escalated as war-mongering is not accepted as mature behavior. Pakistan had offered a third-party probe as it always used dialogue to normalize ties with India, she added.
The Foreign Minister said it would have been irresponsible if Pakistan had responded in the same manner as India. The Foreign Office summoned the Indian envoy to send out a message that “provocation and war-mongering” is not responsible conduct, she contended.
Khar also claimed that there were “immense discrepancies” in statements issued by the Indian External Affairs Ministry, army chief and government on the situation along the LoC.
“A successful and independent foreign policy means to be proactive to lead the way to move ahead with normalization of relations with India and all of our neighbours for our own sake and stability,” she said.
India and Pakistan had seen that 60 years of hostility and “blame game, war-mongering and escalation” had not helped the people of both countries, she said.
The government, opposition parties and all political forces were unanimously of the view that Pakistan should have normal relations with India and other States, she added.
Leader of Opposition Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said Pakistan and India need to be responsible as both are nuclear powers.
“We desire peace with respect and honour. Peace is not a one-way street,” he said.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf today cited “Indian adventures on the Line of Control” and a wave of terrorist attacks as examples of security challenges faced by Pakistan as it moves toward a general election, which is expected to be held in May.
“Recent Indian adventures on LoC and a wave of terrorist attacks in the country amidst political flux ahead of national elections point towards the magnitude, scale and enormity of the challenges faced by the country,” Ashraf said.
Addressing participants of a course on “national security and war” at the National Defence University, the Premier said Pakistan had “initiated a composite dialogue process with India to resolve all issues, including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir.”
He did not go into details of recent ceasefire violations along the LoC.
Ashraf said his government is “fully aware of the criticality of the situation and is taking all possible measures to maintain stability, national cohesion and preserve national interests.”
The Pakistan Premier said there was “national consensus on fighting and eliminating extremism and terrorism which threaten not only our national security but also our way of life.”

Lastupdate on : Tue, 22 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 22 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 23 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST

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