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LoC remains tense even as India talks tough; Pak repeats UN probe demand

CNN-IBN
Jan 16, 2013 at 09:04am IST

New Delhi: The situation along the India-Pakistan border continues to remain tense after India reported four ceasefire violations even after the flag meet. Indian troops, however, did not retaliate and officers say that they will not react in haste but will take their time. But, the Pakistani army claimed that Indian troops killed a Pakistani soldier in the disputed territory of Kashmir.

Firing from the Pakistani side allegedly was for a brief period with small fire arms and mortal shells. This came hours after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh talked tough and warned Pakistan on Tuesday evening. The Prime Minister finally made a statement on the matter, warning Pakistan, that it 'cannot be business as usual' after last week's 'barbaric' beheading of an Indian soldier by the Pakistani Army.

ALSO SEE LoC killings: Comments by Indian Army Chief very hostile, says Hina Rabbani Khar

Speaking on the occasion of the 65th Army Day, the Prime Minister said that those responsible for killing and mutilating Indian soldiers should be brought to book. "What happened at the Line of Control is unacceptable," said Singh.

When asked about Pakistan being in denial over the ceasefire violation and killing of Indian soldiers, the Prime Minister expressed hope that the neighbour realises it. But there is still no clarity though on whether the dialogue process will be suspended. The Prime Minister, however, said that the options against Pakistan cannot be discussed in the open.

ALSO SEE Pakistan violates ceasefire again, fresh firing near LoC at Mendhar

Following the Prime Minister's statement there was a government's stance visibly hardened. Sources told CNN-IBN that it will be difficult to continue talks as Pakistan first has to reassure India and that confidence-building measures may have to be curtailed. It will also be tough to keep sports and cultural ties separate from diplomacy but India doesn't want to indulge in jingoism.

Pakistan also reacted to statements made by the Prime Minister by renewing its offer to have a UN probe into the Poonch firing that killed two Indian soldiers. Pakistan said it does not want to vitiate the already tense situation along the LoC. Pakistan added that it attaches great importance to the ongoing peace process with India.

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Comments by Indian Army Chief very hostile, says Hina Rabbani Khar

Meanwhile, Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar called Indian Army Chief General Bikram Singh's statements on the issue 'hostile'.

ALSO SEE Such actions constitute grave provocation: India

"We were not very pleasantly surprised by the comments that we heard from many political leaders in India also. I think this is what has changed in Pakistan where India needs to catch up," Khar said. "After the comments by the army chief I am taken back a few 20 years," Khar said on the popular Charlie Rose Show of the PBS news channel.

"What did he say?" she was asked in follow up. "Just very hostile comments," Khar said, adding she was referring to the comments made by the Indian Army chief. On Monday, Gen Singh issued a clear warning to Pakistan saying India reserves the right to retaliate at the "time and place" of its choosing. Talking tough over the January 8 incident in Mendhar area of Jammu and Kashmir, he said the beheading was "unacceptable" and "most unpardonable" and the troops would respond immediately, aggressively and offensively if provoked.

'Pakistan frustrated as infiltration bids are failing'

Indian Army kept up the pressure on Pakistan and called its army a frustrated force which was trying to violate the ceasefire at the Line of Control to help terrorists infiltrate into India. General Officer Commanding, Northern Command, Lieutenant General KT Parnaik said on Tuesday that the Pakistan troops have been provoking the Indian side so that the LoC remains "hot and active".

"Pakistan has been resorting to violence. In 2011, there were more than 100 ceasefire violations as compared to 52 last year. Pakistan is frustrated as infiltration is not taking place. Our troops are exercising great restraint," said Lt Gen KT Parnaik. While Pakistan continued to dismiss India's charges, Lt General said, "They were as adamant and arrogant as they are."

"Pakistan has continuously tried to infiltrate from a nallah at Uri. We have restricted that to a large extent and that's what frustrates them," Lt Gen Parnaik added.

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