New Delhi: A day after the brutal killings of two Indian soldiers near the Line of Control (Loc), there has been a predictable angry response from New Delhi whereas the Pakistani response to the ambush was of denial, with both the army and the government dismissing India's concerns on Wednesday.
Reacting to the denial of ceasefire violation by Pakistan, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said that India would still wait for a direct response from the neighbour. Pointing that India did not want to engage Pakistan publicly, the Foreign Minister said, "We want to exhaust all standard procedures first."
Even as Pakistan denied any hand, Defence Minister AK Antony also said there was clear evidence that Pakistan was behind the killing of two Indian soldiers - Lance Naik Hemraj and Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh. "The way they treated Indian soldiers is inhuman. We are already in the process of taking on the Pakistani government, our DGMO is talking his counterpart. The government of India is co-ordinating with all stakeholders and closely monitoring all the developments," said the Defence Minister.
While Pakistan claimed it did not cross the LoC, India took a tough stand but said it would not take any action in haste.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar denied Pakistan's hand in the killings of Indian soldiers. Speaking to CNN-IBN, she said Pakistan was ready for a third party to verify their claims if 'India doesn't believe in our enquiry'. She also told CNN-IBN that Pakistan had completed its investigation.
Pakistan Ambassador to India, Salman Bashir, also reiterated that the country did not violate ceasefire or cross the Line of Control (LoC) at any point of time. Pointing that a Pakistani post was attacked on January 6 wherein a soldier had died, Bashir said that though the matter was raised by the Foreign Ministry, Pakistan had refrained from going to the media.
Pakistan's act retards our movement: Salman Khurshid
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid talked tough and said The bilateral process between India and Pakistan would not be derailed for one incident. I can't specify what India can do diplomatically...we have communicated our concern in no uncertain terms to Pakistan.
"We have conveyed that this is unacceptable, our intent has been conveyed very clearly," Khurshid said. "We cannot allow for escalation of an unwholesome incident," Khurshid added.
Willing to accept third party enquiry: Hina Rabbani Khar
Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar responding to India's demand for response said that the Pakistan government has already given its response, and said "let me just say that we are a bit appauled at some of the statements that are coming from india because the government has absolutely rejected that any such incident took place."
"We are promising a full inquiry into the incident which has already taken place, and we can say that it did not happen. I must tell you that this is the other end the extreme, the opposite of the government's policy. We want to respect the ceasefire of 2003, we have a long history of respecting it," Khar said.
Ex-Pak army general blames LeT for killing of two Indian soldiers
Reacting to India's protest, Former Pakistan Army General Talat Masood has denied the role of the army in the killing of Indian soldiers, saying "Jihadis like Lashkar-e-Toiba could be behind the attack".
Masood further claimed that the Pakistani army is not backing militants.
Clear evidence of Pakistan's involvement: Antony
There is clear evidence that Pakistani troops were involved in the killing of two Indian soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir in an "inhuman" manner, Defence Minister A.K. Antony said Wednesday.
"That it has happened is real. There is clear evidence to it," Antony told reporters on the sidelines of a function at the Indian Statistical Institute here.
Antony's statements came in the wake of Pakistan denying its involvement in the latest killings.
Pakistan never violated ceasefire: Salman Bashir
Pakistan Ambassador to India, Salman Bashir, has reiterated that the country did not violate ceasefire or cross the Line of Control (LoC) at any point of time.
Pointing that a Pakistani post was attacked on January 6 wherein a soldier had died, Bashir said that though the matter was raised by the Foreign Ministry, Pakistan had refrained from going to the media.
For now, India has lodged a formal protest with Islamabad for the serious casefire violations and mutilation of the Indian soldiers. However, the Indian government doesn't want an escalation of tensions. The government has asked the army to be restrained and politically as well ruled out a punishing response to Pakistan's misadventure.