Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday said he was “disappointed” with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif for the continuous ceasefire violations along the Indo-Pak border despite his promises to hold peace.
Singh’s remarks against Sharif, his sharpest so far, come in the
backdrop of Pakistani army and rangers continuing with firing on the Line of Control as well as the international border.
Returning from a two-nation visit to Russia and China, Singh said he hoped Sharif would recognise “at this late hour” that was a development that was not good for either of the two countries.
Ignoring opposition criticism, Singh had met Sharif on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on September 29 despite attacks in Jammu and Kashmir’s Samba sector.
“Let me say that I am disappointed, because in the New York meeting there was a general agreement on both the sides that peace and tranquility should be maintained on the border,” the PM said. “This has not happened. It has come to me as a big disappointment.”
He recalled that they had decided at the same meeting that if the 2003 ceasefire had held ground for 10 years, it could be made to hold ground later on too. “The fact that this is not happening, is something which is really a matter of disappointment,” he added.
The PM going public with his disappointment is in contrast with a recent assessment of senior officials in the security establishment that the ceasefire violations would have to be taken up at the meeting of the director general of military operations (DGMO) as decided at New York.
It was also pointed that a detailed analysis of the firing incidents would be required to arrive at a firm conclusion.
That there was no respite from the firing, however, accentuated the political risk that Singh had taken by talking to Sharif, leaving him exposed to accusations from the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that he was soft on Pakistan.
New Delhi also took note that Islamabad had not even taken the initiative to organise the DGMO-level meeting to sort out the ceasefire violations at the level of the two armies.
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