Batting for a graded response against Pakistan after the savage killings of two Indian soldiers, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah told HT in an exclusive interview that he “would be amazed if the Prime Minister went to Pakistan”.
“The peace process with Pakistan cannot continue as if nothing happened. The window for the Prime Minister’s trip has closed,’’ Abdullah said, adding, “Manmohan Singh has invested so much in the dialogue but now it will be difficult for him to take half a step forward.”
Abdullah, however, said that completely withdrawing from the dialogue would be extreme because India had also gone back to the negotiating table after the attack on Parliament as well as the Mumbai attacks.
Condemning the killings, he said, “Calling them anything less than brutal would be an understatement. Losing lives in skirmishes is also unfortunate but this is something else.”
Concerned with the increased tensions along the LoC, Abdullah said, “The wider implications is that firing along the line of control is often seen as a cover for infiltrators and with infiltration going up, militancy also goes up. The biggest sufferers will be those who live along the line.”
To the question of why Pakistan ratcheted up tensions by beheading the soldiers, he said, “There are no easy answers for why it was done and at what level the decision was taken.”